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Today’s coronavirus news: Canadian MPs, medical experts urge Ottawa to give green-light to human vaccine ‘challenge trials’; India reports more than 60,000 cases Monday – Toronto Star

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KEY FACTS

  • India reports more than 61,000 cases on Monday

  • South Korea counts 11th straight day of triple-digit daily jumps

  • Masks will be mandatory in most indoor public spaces across Newfoundland and Labrador starting today.

The latest coronavirus news from Canada and around the world Monday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.

6:22 a.m.: When demand for PPE was at its highest, the pandemic had compromised global supply chains, but these Hamilton scientists stepped up. Now this innovative centre at McMaster University is paving the way for what the future of masks, shields and gowns should look like.

Read the full story from the Star’s Johanna Chisholm.

6:21 a.m.: A lack of child care and a culture that praises perfect attendance made toughing it out, from kindergarten on, the norm in a pre-COVID world.

But those days are over. The threat of outbreaks looms over this September, especially as nearly two-thirds of GTA families plan to send kids back to in-person learning.

A student with even one minor symptom — from a sore throat to an upset stomach — could jeopardize an entire school. A new zero-tolerance regime will mean many more absences and huge challenges for families as they try to navigate the shift. But it could also bring some unexpected silver linings if school boards, and employers, can be flexible.

Read the full story from the Star’s May Warren here.

6:20 a.m.: Canadian health authorities should allow controversial human “challenge” trials of unproven COVID-19 vaccines to speed up the global search for a vaccine that works, says a group of MPs and Canadian medical experts.

Nearly a dozen infectious disease specialists and members of Parliament — some also physicians — signed an op-ed published Monday by the Toronto Star urging Ottawa to give the green-light to human “challenge trials” that would deliberately expose healthy volunteers to the coronavirus after being injected with as-yet unapproved vaccines.

Although medical ethicists question the risks to participants and the overall value of such trials, advocates argue it could lead to swifter conclusions about the effectiveness of vaccine candidates and prevent millions of deaths that could occur while the world awaits the results of conventional clinical research trials.

“Being overly cautious can also cost lives,” they wrote.

Read the story from the Star’s Tonda MacCharles here.

6:18 a.m.: A young child died due to complications from coronavirus in June, the first confirmed death of a minor in Iowa during the pandemic, the state health department belatedly announced Sunday evening.

The Iowa Department of Public Health said the state medical examiner’s office concluded its case investigation Aug. 6 into the death of the child, who was under the age of 5. But the death wasn’t reported in the state’s statistics until Saturday, more than two weeks later.

“The child’s death was publicly reported this weekend after ensuring the individual’s identity would remain protected and notifying the family,” the department said in a statement. “We have made every effort to protect the identity of this child, while the family grieves this devastating loss. Again, we send our sincerest condolences.”

The confirmation of the state’s first child death comes one day before dozens of school districts are prepared to begin the school year on Monday — a development that has many educators and parents already on edge.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has ordered schools to reopen for at least 50 per cent in-person instruction, despite a pandemic that has already killed 1,036 people and seen infections soar in recent days.

6:20 a.m.: India registered 61,408 additional cases Monday, driving the country’s virus tally past 3.1 million. The Health Ministry also reported 836 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking total fatalities up to 57,542.

India has been recording at least 60,000 new infections per day from the last two weeks. Western Maharashtra state and three southern states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka are the worst-hit regions. The country has largely reopened its economy, though with restrictions mainly in place for infection hot spots.

6:17 a.m.: The lockdown of New Zealand’s largest city has been extended by four days as authorities try to stamp out a coronavirus outbreak.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the two-week lockdown of Auckland, which was due to end Wednesday, will continue through Sunday. She said authorities need to be sure they have found the perimeter of the outbreak and that few cases occur outside of those detected by contact tracing. Masks will be mandated on public transit beginning next week. Ardern said the restrictions in place for the rest of the country would continue for now. New Zealand went 102 days without any community transmission of the virus before the Auckland cluster surfaced this month. Health authorities on Monday reported nine new virus cases.

6:16 a.m.: South Korea counted its 11th straight day of triple-digit daily jumps in coronavirus cases Monday after social distancing restrictions were tightened nationwide.

Most of the 266 new cases reported by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were in the Seoul metropolitan area, home to half of the country’s 51 million people, but new infections were also reported in other major cities, including Busan, Daejeong and Sejong.

KCDC director Jeong Eun-kyeong said it’s likely the country will continue to report huge infection numbers in coming days as health workers scramble to trace and test contacts of virus carriers.

Officials consider the current outbreak South Korea’s biggest crisis since the emergence of COVID-19, given the population density of the capital region and the spread of the virus among various sources.

The country since Sunday has banned larger gatherings, shut down nightspots and churches and removed fans from professional sports nationwide.

6:15 a.m.: Masks will be mandatory in most indoor public spaces across Newfoundland and Labrador starting today.

The rule applies to retail stores, public transportation, fitness centres and movie theatres, among other places where physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The province says anyone above the age of five will need to wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth in these settings.

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Authorities have set out some exemptions to the rule, including for people with health conditions.

The mandatory mask regulation aims to stem the potential spread of COVID-19.

Newfoundland and Labrador last reported a case of COVID-19 on Aug. 10 and there were no active cases in the province as of Sunday.

4 a.m.: The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4 a.m. on Aug. 24, 2020:

There are 124,896 confirmed cases in Canada.

-Quebec: 61,673 confirmed (including 5,740 deaths, 54,682 resolved)

-Ontario: 41,402 confirmed (including 2,797 deaths, 37,595 resolved)

-Alberta: 12,748 confirmed (including 230 deaths, 11,374 resolved)

-British Columbia: 4,915 confirmed (including 202 deaths, 3,889 resolved)

-Saskatchewan: 1,600 confirmed (including 22 deaths, 1,472 resolved)

-Nova Scotia: 1,080 confirmed (including 65 deaths, 1,008 resolved)

-Manitoba: 944 confirmed (including 12 deaths, 576 resolved)

-Newfoundland and Labrador: 268 confirmed (including 3 deaths, 265 resolved)

-New Brunswick: 189 confirmed (including 2 deaths, 178 resolved)

-Prince Edward Island: 44 confirmed (including 40 resolved)

-Yukon: 15 confirmed (including 15 resolved)

-Repatriated Canadians: 13 confirmed (including 13 resolved)

-Northwest Territories: 5 confirmed (including 5 resolved)

-Nunavut: No confirmed cases

Total: 124,896 (0 presumptive, 124,896 confirmed including 9,073 deaths, 111,112 resolved)

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Ontario College of Teachers asks retired teachers to return to the classroom to address teaching shortage during pandemic – CTV Edmonton

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OTTAWA —
The Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) warns there is a shortage of certified teachers in the province during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the college, the teacher shortage has been magnified by smaller class sizes since the start of the school year.

In a letter sent to former and retired members, OCT is asking people to reinstate their memberships and return to work if they can, to help provide relief in the classroom.

“In short, you are needed. Your significant and specialized knowledge and skills are needed,” said the letter.

The letter encourages people to pursue job opportunities with local school boards.

CTV News Ottawa has reached out to several Ottawa school boards about this shortage.

Both the Ottawa Carleton District School Board and Ottawa Catholic School Board have positions posted on their websites for occasional teachers.

The Conseil des ecoles Catholiques Centre-Est has job positions for substitute and permanent teaching positions in Ottawa, Carleton Place, Kingston and Pembroke.

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Public health officials call for tighter restrictions, warn COVID-19 could spiral out of control – Yahoo News Canada

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Public health officials call for tighter restrictions, warn COVID-19 could spiral out of control

Infectious disease experts say Canadian health authorities must tighten restrictions again or hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 will increase exponentially in the coming weeks.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Echoing comments made Tuesday by Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam, who said Canada is at a crossroads in its pandemic battle, experts in public health are urging governments to take decisive action to prevent&nbsp;the current resurgence of the virus from spiralling out of control.” data-reactid=”33″>Echoing comments made Tuesday by Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam, who said Canada is at a crossroads in its pandemic battle, experts in public health are urging governments to take decisive action to prevent the current resurgence of the virus from spiralling out of control.

Canada reported 1,248 new cases Wednesday, and on Tuesday the country’s most populous province, Ontario, reported its highest number of new cases since early May. 

Tam outlined projections that show new cases could climb to 5,000 daily by October if we continue on the current course.

“To date, we’re not moving fast enough to get ahead of this,” said Dr. Michael Gardam, an infectious disease physician based at a Women’s College Hospital in Toronto. “I think we’re being lulled into a false sense of security because of the low numbers of hospitalizations and deaths [relative to earlier in the pandemic]. But they will come in the next six weeks or so.”

He said asking people nicely to tighten their social circles is not going to be enough.

Craig Chivers/CBCCraig Chivers/CBC

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Craig Chivers/CBC

“I think that appealing to people’s better natures — that, hey, you should be careful and you should make sure you limit your contacts — I don’t think that that’s going to work, to be perfectly frank.”

Gardam said Canadians grew fatigued with the restrictions imposed on their social circles earlier in the year and won’t be eager to return to them unless pressed.

“I think we’re going to have to be a lot more forceful,” he said. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Adjusting bubbles” data-reactid=”61″>Adjusting bubbles

That means demanding Canadians tighten their social circles, and backing that up with enforcement.

“I would argue that we need to be very cautious, like we were back in March, in order to weather the storm from all the increased contacts that we’ve had.”

Right now, “people are playing fast and loose with bubbles all over the place,” said Gardam. 

If you increase the number of contacts that you have, this is going to go to hell real quick. – Michael Gardam, infectious disease physician, Women’s College Hospital

Instead, he says we need to rethink social bubbles now that school is in session again.

“We’re all going to have to pay the price because our kids are in school now. So what are we giving up?

“If you want to keep the restaurants open and bars, maybe you have to give up your private gatherings,” he said. “Because if you just increase in every dimension, if you increase the number of contacts that you have, this is going to go to hell real quick.”

The actions taken in the next two weeks could change the trajectory of the months to come, said Laura Rosella, an associate professor at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health,

“There’s a lot of things with this pandemic that we can’t control, but we might be able to control who we interact with, especially socially, and who’s in our bubble,” said Rosella, who holds a PhD in epidemiology.

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“I would encourage everyone to rethink what their bubbles are given the new situation, especially if something’s changed, if someone’s gone back to work, someone’s entering a school situation and especially if vulnerable people are in their bubbles.”

Rosella said her advice to Canadians is to “really think through what is absolutely necessary” when it comes to interactions with others.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="More than a blip” data-reactid=”98″>More than a blip

Rosella said Canadians can’t afford to ignore the changes happening with COVID-19.

“We’re not in the August situation anymore. There’s clearly an uptick of cases,” said Rosella, “The fact that we’re already on that trajectory tells me that the likelihood of this being just a small blip, that we’re not going to notice and we can carry on, is pretty low.”

“We are going to experience a significant increase that we’re going to have to manage and react to. It could be worse if we do nothing. And if we act, we could minimize the impact of it.” 

Dr. Samir Gupta, a clinician-scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital and an assistant professor in the department of medicine at the University of Toronto, said getting a handle on this COVID-19 surge means returning to restrictions implemented earlier in the pandemic.

Craig Chivers/CBCCraig Chivers/CBC

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Craig Chivers/CBC

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Speaking with Heather Hiscox on CBC&nbsp;Morning Live&nbsp;Wednesday, Gupta said Canadians "need to start making similar sacrifices to the ones we made the first time around," which was successful with flattening the curve in the spring.” data-reactid=”123″>Speaking with Heather Hiscox on CBC Morning Live Wednesday, Gupta said Canadians “need to start making similar sacrifices to the ones we made the first time around,” which was successful with flattening the curve in the spring.

Without enforcement, “we risk overwhelming our health-care system capacity … [and getting] into real trouble,” he said.

“We don’t want to have to turn people away and not be able to take care of people who are sick with this virus. And that’s the biggest risk we face.”

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Ottawa reports 82 new coronavirus cases: provincial data – Global News

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Ottawa’s surge in coronavirus infections continues Thursday with 82 new COVID-19 cases reported via the provincial database.

The latest daily increase is Ottawa’s second-largest spike in cases so far in the pandemic, surpassed only by the 93 cases reported on Tuesday.

No new deaths related to the novel coronavirus were reported in Ottawa on Thursday, according to the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 dashboard.

Read more:
Ontario reports 409 new coronavirus cases with most in Toronto-area, Ottawa

Ottawa Public Health’s (OPH) latest weekly epidemiology report shows the second wave of the virus in the nation’s capital was already setting grim records before this week’s spiking case figures.

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The local public health unit’s report shows the week of Sept. 14 to 20 had the highest number of new cases reported since the pandemic began, with 385 people testing positive for the virus.

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That’s up from 244 cases the week previous and surpasses the previous high of 331 cases set in the week of April 20.

OPH will release its more fulsome daily report on the novel coronavirus later Thursday afternoon.

The OPH report will sometimes revise case numbers provided earlier in the day via the provincial database due to lags in reporting.






10:38
Ottawa mayor: We are losing $1 million a day as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic


Ottawa mayor: We are losing $1 million a day as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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