The last coronavirus news from Canada and around the world on Friday. Web links to longer stories if available.
6 h 15: As the third wave peaks in Ontario, doctors warn that the daily count of COVID-19 patients in ICUs is an undercount of the actual number of patients receiving intensive care for the virus.
Nearly 100 patients who, in a pre-pandemic period, would be eligible for the ICU are instead being treated in medical wards, according to data obtained by the Star in more than a dozen hospitals in the GTA. This represents a significant share of critically ill COVID patients who are not counted by the province, masking the full extent of the crisis in hospitals.
To cope with the surge in the number of patients with COVID, hospitals have had to change the threshold for admission to intensive care, reserving these beds only for the sickest, most requiring ventilation and other survival measures. Today, dozens of critically ill patients are receiving care in the wards, including a sophisticated supply of oxygen that would normally be given in intensive care units.
Read the full story of Star’s Megan Ogilvie and Kenyon Wallace here.
6: 15h00: New York City wants to start offering coronavirus vaccines to tourists by parking vaccination vans in Times Square and other attractions, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday.
The city needs state approval to vaccinate visitors and hopes to secure a deal as early as this weekend. The state health department did not immediately comment on the proposal.
De Blasio called it a “positive message to tourists: ‘Come here. Sure, it’s a great place and we’ll take care of you. “
“It’s a show of goodwill. It’s welcome, ”but not a requirement, said the Democratic mayor. He said the city has no plans to track the vaccination status of tourists.
In addition to Times Square, vans will appear in places such as Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park and the High Line elevated park, de Blasio said. Visitors would receive the single-dose vaccine from Johnson & Johnson, so they wouldn’t have to do a second vaccine.
6h14: The Australian Prime Minister said on Friday that a travel ban in India would end with three government-chartered flights to repatriate Australians by the end of May.
The government has resisted growing pressure to lift the travel ban imposed last week through May 15 to reduce infections at Australian quarantine facilities.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the 900 Australians listed as vulnerable would be given priority among the 9,000 citizens registered with authorities as wishing to return home from India.
But Australians would have to provide a negative result on a rapid COVID-19 antigen test before they can board a flight.
“I’m sure that’s what all Australians expect,” said Morrison.
The flights would end at a quarantine facility outside the northern city of Darwin. The government had not yet taken a decision on resuming normal commercial flights from India.
6h13: Germany’s health minister hailed a drop in new COVID-19 cases, but says Germans have to endure “weeks or months” of restrictions.
Germany’s seven-day moving average of daily new cases has declined over the past two weeks, from nearly 25 cases per 100,000 people on April 22 to 19 cases per 100,000 people on May 6.
Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Friday that efforts to reduce social contact and travel have helped bring down the number of infections in recent weeks.
He also cited the rapid increase in vaccinations in the country.
Spahn said about 26.2 million people, or about 31.5% of the German population, have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Almost 9% received two shots.
He cautioned, however, against reopening certain areas of public life too quickly, warning that “this carries a risk”.
Some of Germany’s 16 states have resumed allowing limited tourism and eating out.
The German disease control agency reported 18,485 new confirmed cases and 284 deaths on Thursday. Since the start of the epidemic, Germany has recorded nearly 3.5 million confirmed cases and 84,410 deaths.
6h13: The head of the World Trade Organization said the US administration’s call to remove patent protections on COVID-19 vaccines will boost negotiations to resolve inequalities in access, but the decision in itself will not solve the problem.
WTO Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala told a virtual conference on Friday that the WTO aims to find a “pragmatic solution that guarantees access to developing countries to address inequalities in vaccines, while taking care not to discourage research and innovation. “
In remarks at the Florence-based European University Institute’s annual State of the Union conference, Okonjo-Iweala, a Nigerian economist, said patent waiver “may not be the critical issue” of increasing the volume of vaccines.
Other key steps include reducing export restrictions and bans on finished products and raw materials, as well as training manufacturing staff and increasing manufacturing capacity globally.
She noted that 80% of global vaccine exports are concentrated in 10 countries in North America, South Asia and Europe, and Africa imports 99% of its vaccines. She said, “We see the problems with this concentration now. “
6h12: The European Medicines Agency said it has started a fast-track authorization process for an investigational treatment for the coronavirus made by GlaxoSmithKline and Vir BioTechnology.
In a statement on Friday, the European medicines regulator said it has started an ongoing review of sotrovimab, based on the initial results of an ongoing study to determine whether the treatment can prevent hospitalization or death. in people who do not yet have severe COVID-19. But the EMA said it had not yet received the full data and warned that “it is too early to draw conclusions about the benefit-risk of the drug.”
Although the EMA has given the green light to four vaccines, there are few authorized treatments for the coronavirus, especially those that could prevent people with mild COVID-19 from progressing to serious illness.
Sotrovimab is a monoclonal antibody, a laboratory-produced antibody that is used to stimulate the immune system by reducing the ability of the coronavirus spike protein to enter body cells.
An emergency use authorization for sotrovimab has also been submitted to regulators in the United States and Canada.
6 h: A new survey from Proof Strategies suggests that it’s not just Canada’s National Immunization Advisors who have a “preferred” vaccine.
The survey of 1,500 people in the first three days of May suggests that the two mRNA vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are well ahead in the eyes of Canadians.
More than eight in 10 respondents said they trusted the Pfizer vaccine to be safe and effective, and almost as many said they trusted Moderna.
However, only half of those polled said they trusted Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine and 4.5 in 10 said they trusted Oxford-AstraZeneca.
AstraZeneca and J&J use similar technology and have both been potentially linked to a new and very rare vaccine-induced blood clotting syndrome. Twelve cases are confirmed in Canada after approximately two million doses administered. Three people died.
While scientists still cannot explain why vaccines cause this syndrome, reports suggest that it occurs between one in 100,000 administered and one in 250,000.
4 am: The latest COVID-19 immunization figures in Canada at 4 a.m. ET on Friday, May 7, 2021.
In Canada, provinces report 350,701 new vaccines administered for a total of 14,918,768 doses administered. Nationwide, 1,196,166 people, or 3.2% of the population, have been fully immunized. The provinces administered doses at a rate of 39,364,255 per 100,000 people.
To date, 1,147,668 new vaccines have been delivered to provinces and territories, for a total of 17,981,872 doses. The provinces and territories used 82.97% of their available vaccine stock.
4 am: The last number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada at 4 a.m. ET on Friday, May 7, 2021.
There are 1,265,320 confirmed cases in Canada (81,325 active, 1,159,506 resolved, 24,489 deaths). The total number of cases includes 13 confirmed cases among repatriated travelers.
There were 7,981 new cases on Thursday. The rate of active cases is 213.98 per 100,000 people. In the past seven days, there have been a total of 54,242 new cases. The seven-day moving average of new cases is 7,749.
There were 39 new deaths reported Thursday. In the past seven days, 320 new deaths have been reported. The seven-day moving average of new reported deaths is 46. The seven-day moving average death rate is 0.12 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 64.44 per 100,000 people.
There were 32,266,260 tests performed.