“We are very concerned that the variables will become an increasing proportion of cases,” said Howard Ngo, Canada’s vice president of public health, and pleaded with Canadians not to personally gather with those who live in other homes.
Coronavirus cases and hospitalizations have fallen sharply and have stabilized at a high level since they peaked in January, but the trend has reversed, even as vaccinations began. The average seven-day case rose to 5,086 on March 31, up 40 percent from the previous week and 72 percent from the start of the month, according to data from Public Health Canada.
Other disturbing trends proliferate. The number of changing cases in the country on March 31 was 70 percent higher than the previous week. British Columbia recorded the highest number of daily cases this week. Ontario has never seen more coronavirus patients in intensive care.
Across the country, public health officials and infectious disease experts are reporting that hospitalized patients with more severe disease are younger than they have been during previous increases. The ages of the young people affected vary across the country, but they are generally under the age of 60.
“With the proliferation of new variants, you will see that covid-19 kills faster and smaller,” Adalsteinn Brown, co-chair of the panel of scientists advising Ontario Prime Minister Doug Ford, said Thursday. Modeling To the province. “It is spreading much faster than it was before, and we cannot vaccinate fast enough to break this third wave.”
Alison Kelvin, a virologist at the Infectious Diseases Organization at the University of Saskatchewan, said that young people can replace old people in hospitals because many of the older people who were once the most vulnerable have been vaccinated, and the young are primary factors and trigger the variants. More severe disease.
“Variables play according to different rules,” she said.
British Columbia, which has previously earned praise for its handling of the pandemic, announced on Monday that it will shut down indoor dining in bars, restaurants, worship services and indoor group fitness classes for three weeks. The variables were fueling the boom, said Bonnie Henry, the county health official.
It also ordered the closure of the Whistler Blackcomb ski resort. Officials said it was a site A cluster of “worrisome” cases of the P.1 variant, first identified in Brazil. About 83 percent of cases in Whistler have been for ages From 20 to 39, according to Numbers From Vancouver Coastal Health.
Quebec imposed strict restrictions this week in several regions that were recently eased, including closing schools, theaters, gyms, hair salons and non-essential businesses for 10 days. Officials backtracked on the 9:30 p.m. curfew in those areas until 8 p.m. and imposed restrictions on capacity in places of worship.
“People should essentially stay at home, unless they urgently need to go to work,” said Quebec Prime Minister Francois Legault.
In neighboring Ontario, Ford lifted the stay-at-home order for most of the county in February despite warnings from the commission advising him that it would lead to an increase in cases. On Thursday, he pulled out what he called “emergency brakes” at the county level, shuttered indoor and outdoor restaurants and imposed restrictions on the capacity of companies, weddings and funerals.
The restrictions are less stringent than the measures the province implemented in December, which included closing non-essential businesses and schools.
Brown, who is also dean of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, painted a bleak picture of tense intensive care units in the county based on what he heard from frontline health care workers.
“Entire families are now appearing in intensive care,” he said. We have to separate families in ambulances and helicopters and move them to other areas that have a spare bed. … [One] The family ended up scattered among three cities in three different hospitals, and all of them died.
Many of the patients in the hospital’s intensive care units are primary staff, said Lavina Munshi, a critical care physician at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. She said that they often come from low socioeconomic backgrounds and fear that they may miss their paychecks if they have to stay home to take the test or if they feel unwell.
Munshi, who is also part of the government advisory committee, said the new restrictions in Ontario are unlikely to do much to break these transportation chains.
“The pandemic has really exposed major inequalities that pre-existed in our healthcare system,” she said. “An action like paid sick leave is really something that we hope the government will consider employing.”
Coronavirus trends in Canada mirror those seen elsewhere, including in parts of the United States and in Several European countries, where cases have also risen sharply, hospitals are under pressure and governments are imposing new restrictions on social gatherings, businesses and schools.
Launching the vaccine in Canada got off to a slow start, and has been hampered in part by a lack of capacity to manufacture the local vaccine and a delay in importing doses from abroad. Its pace has picked up in recent weeks, but Canada is still lagging behind many peers.
As of April 1, Canada had administered 15.6 doses per 100 people, according to Our Scientist in Data at the University of Oxford, which is about a third of the figure in the United States. Less than 2% of people in Canada have been fully vaccinated against the Coronavirus.
In Alberta, which has delayed the move to the next phase of its reopening plan amid a surge in cases, Prime Minister Jason Kenny said this week that “in the race between vaccines and COVID-19 variants, the variants win.”
The launch had bright spots, especially in long-term care homes, which have been prioritized for getting vaccines after being devastated by epidemics that have been responsible for at least 69 percent of Canada’s coronavirus deaths, according to Transfer From the Canadian Institute of Health Information.
Data from Ontario last month showed that vaccination was Reducing the relative risk of infection and death In the population Those facilities accounted for about 89 percent and 96 percent, respectively, compared to a control group of unvaccinated elderly people living outside of those settings. Other areas mentioned Similar results.
“It’s frustrating that we have so few vaccines and so little coverage,” Kelvin said. “But we’re going through a vaccine ramp up now … so I hope we can have some kind of containment in the near future.”