COVID-19 hospitalizations hit a staggering 10,000 patients as provinces set new records – National

Admissions due to COVID-19 across Canada surpassed 10,000 patients for the first time on Monday, an alarming sign of the impact of the highly transmissible Omicron variant has had on the country’s healthcare system.

A Global News analysis of provincial health data shows that there are now 10,038 patients receiving treatment at the hospital. Of those, 1,148 people are in intensive care units.

The country first broke its hospitalization record on January 5, when the number of patients exceeded 5,000. That number has almost doubled in just under two weeks, as several provinces are breaking their own records and others are close to doing so.

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A large portion of current admissions are driven by Ontario and Quebec. Ontario reported 578 COVID-19 patients in intensive care units and 3,887 in the hospital overall, up from 3,595 the day before. Quebec, meanwhile, reported a new record of 3,381 admitted COVID-19 patients, including 286 in intensive care units.

Yet there have also been increases in other parts of the country. Alberta’s patient numbers exceeded 1,000 on Monday for the first time since mid-October, when the province began to recover from its deadly fourth wave of the pandemic. British Columbia and Manitoba set new records with 819 and 569 active COVID-19 patients, respectively.

Deaths, meanwhile, have also begun to rise. From Monday, the seven-day average for new deaths rose from COVID-19 to 116. Nearly 150 new deaths were reported on Monday alone, though some occurred over the weekend.

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Confirmed cases have begun to decline in the meantime, giving hope that hospitalizations and deaths will soon follow.

As of Monday, the seven-day average of daily cases is just over 29,300, a drop of about 35 percent from the record high of over 45,500 cases a day nearly two weeks ago.

There are now about 331,000 active confirmed cases of COVID-19, down from over 400,000 at the beginning of this month.

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However, federal and provincial health officials have warned that the true number of cases nationwide could be up to 10 times higher because of how contagious Omicron is. Provinces have limited testing capacity to prevent laboratories from being overwhelmed.

Pfizer’s COVID-19 pill approved

Monday saw another development that officials hope could also bring hospital admissions down as Health Canada approved Pfizer’s antiviral COVID-19 treatment after weeks of waiting.

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The Agency approved Paxlovid for adult patients with mild or moderate COVID-19 who are also at high risk of becoming more seriously ill. Health Canada did not approve it for use on teens or on patients already hospitalized for COVID-19.

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Paxlovid, Pfizer’s oral COVID-19 pill, approved in Canada

Dr. Supriya Sharma, Chief Medical Officer at Health Canada, said clinical trials showed that treatment with Paxlovid reduced the risk of hospitalization and death caused by COVID-19 by 89 percent when the drug was started within three days of the onset of symptoms, and by 85 percent. , when taken within five days.

Health Canada approval recommends that the pill be taken within five days of the onset of symptoms.

Purchasing Minister Filomena Tassi told reporters on Monday that the acquisition of Paxlovid will help keep Canada’s admissions figures from continuing to creep up.

“I think the timing of this (authorization) is also very important,” she said. “The bottom line is … it potentially keeps people away from hospitals.”

Federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said Canada has already received its first shipment of 30,000 courses of treatment for the Pfizer drug, with a further 120,000 expected by March. He added that distribution to provinces and territories will begin “immediately.”

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Click to play video: 'COVID-19: Health Canada's Leading Medical Advisor outlines use of Pfizer antiviral pill'







COVID-19: Health Canada’s Lead Medical Adviser Outlines Use of Pfizer Antiviral Pill


COVID-19: Health Canada’s Lead Medical Adviser Outlines Use of Pfizer Antiviral Pill

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief physician, said Paxlovid’s impact is unlikely to be seen immediately.

“A lot of it depends on the initial supply, and we all know that the supply will not be large in the beginning,” she said. “For the Omicron wave itself, it may contribute, but it will not be a major contributor to the current wave.

“So it’s very much another layer, another tool that we’re making progress over the next month.”

Tam said provinces and territories would determine how best to use the limited supply of the drug, adding that prevalence to jurisdictions would be based on a per-capita basis, adding that Paxlovid should not be seen as an alternative to vaccinations. .

Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole said the initial shipment of 30,000 treatments was “inadequate”, adding that the government needs to “dramatically increase” the number of pills ordered and get them out to the provinces with it. same.

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Canada approved Paxlovid, Pfizer’s new oral COVID pill. What you need to know

The news of Paxlovid’s permission came as Canadian students in four provinces returned for personal learning, though a severe winter snowstorm in parts of Ontario and Quebec meant another virtual school day for many.

Students in Nova Scotia and Manitoba also returned to class after starting the new year online due to record high case numbers. The provinces switched to distance education to take the pressure off the health system and give schools more time to improve security measures.

Some high school students in Manitoba staged a workflow Monday to protest their return amid a rising COVID-19 figure. The students called for improved security measures in the classrooms, better access to masks and the opportunity for online learning.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, meanwhile, officials are waiting at least another week to ease public health restrictions following a rise in COVID-19 that began in late December. The province moved to alarm level 4 on January 4 and will stay there until at least January 24.


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The peak of the fifth wave may be this week, experts warn


The peak of the fifth wave may be this week, experts warn

Ahead of an official update set for Tuesday – the day on which public health restrictions are set to expire – British Columbia said it will keep gyms and other gyms closed indefinitely. School boards must now also collect information on the vaccination status of their staff.

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To date, Canada has seen more than 2.8 million confirmed COVID-19 cases with 31,679 deaths.

As of Monday, nearly 82 percent of eligible Canadians aged five and up have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with two doses.

– with files from the Canadian press


© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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