Friday, 26 February 2021

Canada: Quebec plans for COVID-19 'immunity passports'


CBC News shows that Quebec plans to introduce 'immunity passports' at some point, which will allow people to prove they've been vaccinated and make it simpler to travel and perhaps even open some sectors of the economy. However, the new concept is controversial. Some leaders call it divisive and discriminatory.

Proof of vaccination against COVID-19 may soon be a requirement for airline or cruise ship passengers for traveling. Some companies have come forward saying they will require such proof (so called "immunity passports"). Some employers could perhaps require vaccinations, as well.

Health Canada approves AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine


CBC News shows that Health Canada has approved use of the important COVID-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca, certainly clearing the way for millions of more inoculations in Canada country. The country has secured access to 20 million doses of the useful vaccine to reduce to virus.

After a months-long review, Health Canada regulators certainly today approved the COVID-19 vaccine from Oxford University-AstraZeneca for use in Canada. The department's regulators concluded the shot has an efficacy rate of 62 per cent and have authorized it for use in all adults 18 and older. "Overall, there are no important safety concerns, and the vaccine was well tolerated by participants," the important decision reads.

AstraZeneca plc is a British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical company with its headquarters in Cambridge, England. AstraZeneca has a portfolio of important products for major diseases including oncology, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, infection, neuroscience, respiratory and inflammation areas. The great company was founded in 1999 through the merger of the Swedish Astra AB and the British Zeneca Group (itself formed by the demerger of the pharmaceutical operations of Imperial Chemical Industries in 1993). AstraZeneca has a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. It has secondary listings on Nasdaq OMX Stockholm, Nasdaq New York, the Bombay Stock Exchange and on the National Stock Exchange of India.

Thursday, 25 February 2021

COVID-19 in Canada: 'Vaccination passports' a near certainty says bio-ethicist


CTV News shows that Bio-ethicist Kerry Bowman says the discussion and tension over 'vaccine passports' is imminent as vaccinations increase.

It is possible that COVID-19 vaccine passports will be no different to the normal documents you must show to travel to certain countries.

Some people have no problems with this idea, but some people don't like this passport idea. Nobody is arguing for making vaccines mandatory (it seems the decision to have a vaccine should always come down to an individual’s informed choice). It seems, also, that some people cannot have it for medical reasons, and these people should not be discriminated against.

Governments want as many people as possible to use the vaccine and have set up campaigns encouraging us all to do so, but doing so is not compulsory. People who have taken the vaccine are given a card stating they have received 1 or both doses and the information is also documented on their medical records.

However, if you choose not to have the vaccine (for reasons unrelated to any certain medical condition which precludes you from it) you must understand that it affects really not only yourself but those in the space around you.

Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Coronavirus: Canada to receive over 640,000 vaccine doses this week, officials say


Global News shows that during a federal COVID-19 update on Tuesday, Minister of Public Services and Procurement Anita Anand said that Canada will receive a total of 643,000 doses of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines this week, calling it "the largest shipment to date." She added that a total of 2.5 million vaccine doses will have been delivered by the end of the month, and another 3.5 million are arriving in March.

Canada’s vaccination campaign certainly seems to be ramping up. However, it is not clear when all pandemic-related restrictions can be lifted. Vaccinating as many people as possible sure helps to minimize chances of a virus resurgence. It is not known when the vaccination process will be "completed."

It seems, also, that mass vaccinations are not the only factor in Canada's reopening timeline. At some point in time, Canada will return to some "state of normalcy." The main goal is to get the vaccination levels high so that we reduce the chances of virus resurgence.

At almost 350 days into the Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Pandemic, international travellers arriving at Canadian airports are now required by federal law to go directly to a designated hotel for 3 days while awaiting tests to see if they are positive for dangerous coronavirus.

The following information is according to the COVID-19 Dashboard by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.


Coronavirus Covid-19 Pandemic: Cases Overview:

Canada:

Total cases: 851K
Recovered: 799K
Deaths: 21,751

United States (USA):

Total cases: 28.2M
Recovered: not completely known
Deaths: 501K

Brazil:
Total cases: 10.2M
Recovered: 9.11M
Death: 247K

India:
Total cases: 11M
Recovered: 10.7M
Deaths: 156K

Worldwide:

Total cases: 112M
Recovered: 63.1M
Deaths: 2.48M

Countries with most Covid-19 Cases:

28,234,691 USA
11,016,434 India
10,195,160 Brazil
4,146,730 United Kingdom
4,142,126 Russia
3,689,418 France
3,161,432 Spain
2,832,162 Italy
2,655,633 Turkey
2,405,118 Germany
2,229,663 Colombia
2,069,751 Argentina
2,043,632 Mexico
1,648,962 Poland
1,590,605 Iran
1,504,588 South Africa
1,358,871 Ukraine
1,298,608 Indonesia
1,286,757 Peru
1,168,491 Czechia
1,079,222 Netherlands
855,142 Canada
805,317 Chile
799,106 Portugal
784,711 Romania
758,810 Israel
755,594 Belgium
675,982 Iraq
642,099 Sweden
573,384 Pakistan
564,865 Philippines
551,355 Switzerland
544,116 Bangladesh
481,709 Morocco
448,371 Austria
442,853 Serbia
426,807 Japan
407,274 Hungary
375,668 Saudi Arabia
375,535 United Arab Emirates
372,417 Jordan
359,337 Lebanon
337,087 Panama
294,790 Slovakia
288,229 Malaysia
280,428 Belarus
275,780 Ecuador
273,666 Nepal
268,995 Georgia
257,800 Kazakhstan
243,176 Bolivia
240,360 Croatia
238,591 Bulgaria
236,210 Dominican Republic
233,424 Azerbaijan
229,781 Tunisia
216,300 Ireland
209,244 Denmark
202,674 Costa Rica
194,833 Lithuania
186,004 Kuwait
185,912 Slovenia
182,783 Greece
178,774 Egypt
178,540 Moldova
176,377 West Bank and Gaza
172,072 Guatemala
170,672 Armenia
165,737 Honduras
161,344 Qatar
154,257 Ethiopia
152,658 Paraguay
152,616 Nigeria
141,783 Burma
139,989 Oman
136,545 Venezuela
130,701 Libya
129,176 Bosnia and Herzegovina
118,530 Bahrain
112,094 Algeria
104,500 Kenya
102,306 Albania
100,796 China
099,917 North Macedonia

Saturday, 20 February 2021

Coronavirus variants could fuel Canada's third wave


Global News shows that Canadian health officials are sounding the alarm over highly transmissible new Coronavirus COVID-19 variants, warning the pandemic could "resurge rapidly" and lead to a certain third wave if public health measures are lifted further.

Canada certainly has made progress in bringing down overall infections and hospitalizations. However, the imminent threat the arrival of virus variants is an important event.

The unfortunate emergence and spread is happening of new virus variants of concern. It is important to abide by stringent public health measures. It is certainly important to prevent a rapid resurgence of the epidemic in Canada.

In North America, there are 3 variants of concern that are being tracked: the U.K., the South African and the Brazilian variants. More infectious Covid-19 variants have emerged around the world, and experts are saying that countries such as the United States must adapt to a changed pandemic playing field.

No one should travel when sick. Commercial airline restrictions may also prevent you from boarding your travel plane if you're sick. However, Canadians, persons with status under the Indian Act and permanent residents who have dangerous COVID-19 symptoms are allowed to return to Canada.

If you arrive in Canada with symptoms of COVID-19, let a border official know. A Government of Canada representative will then be certainly contacted to assess your situation. They can help you get medical care.

The new coronavirus is certainly an "RNA virus": a collection of genetic material packed inside a protein shell. RNA viruses, like the flu and measles, are more prone to changes and mutations compared with DNA viruses, such as herpes, smallpox, and human papillomavirus (HPV).

The genomes of many DNA viruses are infectious and they can be synthesized, manipulated, and introduced back into cells as plasmids, with the resulting production of certain virions. However, some DNA viruses also require a set of proteins to initiate an infection.

Virus mutation rates are described in several ways, such as mutations per nucleotide synthesized, mutations per genome synthesized or mutations/nucleotide/cell infection. For some RNA viruses, these numbers translate into 1 or 2 mutations per genome replicated. Estimates may try to account for the length of the virus replication cycle, the number of certain genomes produced, or the method of genome synthesis.

The evolution rate of a virus is often described as nucleotide substitutions per nucleotide site, per year.

Friday, 19 February 2021

Canadian government to extend COVID-19 emergency benefits


Global News shows that the Canadian government is extending many of its emergency COVID-19 benefits as the Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic continues.

The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit will be extended by 12 weeks. Also, another two weeks will be added to the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit.

The Canadian government is also increasing Employment Insurance (EI) availability to 50 weeks in total, meaning an additional 24 weeks can be claimed.

Canada has had a recent decline in COVID-19 cases, however the daily virus numbers are under threat from new variants that could cause the numbers to go up.

If there exists a possibility that some vaccines can be stored at higher temperatures, this would make it easier for the products to get to remote and low-income regions. Health Canada is in discussions about these issues.

Thursday, 18 February 2021

Canada: New coronavirus variants gaining ground


Global News shows that Canada is making progress reducing the spread of the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic. After peaking at nearly 8,000 new cases in January, infections have now fallen to below 3,000 per day. However, the bad news is that highly-contagious new variants are gaining ground and have been detected in all 10 provinces in Canada.
 
In the time of 2 weeks, the number of active cases in N.L. has jumped from 14 to 338 with 44 new cases confirmed Wednesday. It’s believed the spike has been driven by the U.K. variant.
 
Scientists are certainly learning about these new virus variants. Some viruses have combined to form a mutated hybrid. It is not known if this hybrid poses a bigger threat.

Hopefully, a bigger third wave doesn't happen with new virus variants.

British Columbia has now identified more than 60 cases of COVID-19 involving "variants of concern." That includes the province's single case of the variant B.1.525, the mutation first detected in Nigeria. The Nigerian variant is classified as a "variant under investigation," because researchers are still trying to determine whether its mutations make it more contagious.

Experts say B1525, referred to as the Nigerian variant, should now be the subject of surge testing to limit the spread of the deadly virus. There have been 38 cases of the Nigerian variant identified in the UK as of Tuesday 16 February.

The Nigerian variant contains the same genetic change - E484K - also found in the Brazilian and South African variants.