You are currently viewing COVID-19 Live Updates: Calgary Coronavirus News for May 18th

COVID-19 Live Updates: Calgary Coronavirus News for May 18th

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USA to investigate whether a longer course of Paxlovid is needed to combat reinfections

The COVID-19 treatment pill Paxlovid is seen in a box at the Misericordia hospital in Grosseto, Italy February 8, 2022.
The COVID-19 treatment pill Paxlovid is seen in a box at the Misericordia hospital in Grosseto, Italy February 8, 2022. Photo by REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini

The US National Institutes of Health is in talks with Pfizer Inc. to study whether longer duration of the drugmaker’s COVID-19 antiviral treatment Paxlovid is needed to prevent reinfection, the top US infectious disease expert said, dr Anthony Fauci, on Wednesday.

“We’ll be planning what studies we’re going to do relatively soon over the next few days” to determine whether or not a longer course is needed, Fauci said during a COVID-19 White House briefing.

Rising COVID-19 cases in the United States are driving the use of therapeutics, with more than 660,000 courses of Paxlovid pills administered in the country to date.

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The world is in no better place to tackle pandemics than before COVID: WHO

The logo of the World Health Organization is pictured at the entrance of the WHO building in Geneva, Switzerland, December 20, 2021.
The logo of the World Health Organization is pictured at the entrance of the WHO building in Geneva, Switzerland, December 20, 2021. Photo by DENIS BALIBOUSE /REUTERS

The world is no better prepared for a new pandemic than it was when the coronavirus emerged in 2019, and may actually be in a worse place given the economic toll, according to a panel set up by the World Health Organization (WHO) to assess the global response.

A lack of progress on reforms such as international health regulations means the world is as vulnerable as ever, the Independent Panel on Pandemic Preparedness and Response said in its report.

The authors, led by former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark and former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, acknowledged some progress, including more robust funding for the WHO, but said the process was far too slow.

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Tuesday

Alberta reports 55 deaths in five days from COVID-19 as hospital admissions fall

Alberta's Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr.  Deena Hinshaw.
Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw. Photo by David Bloom /mail media, file

The number of deaths from COVID-19 in the province continues to rise, with 55 people dying from the virus in five days.

dr Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, said that between May 10 and 15 there were an average of nine deaths per day from COVID-19. So far there have been 4,446 deaths due to the pandemic.

“It’s hard to see numbers like this as a virus has turned all of our lives upside down and despite our combined efforts it is still rampant,” Hinshaw said during today’s weekly update.

While people are still dying from COVID-19 in the province, hospital admissions have been declining since last week. On average, there were 1,190 hospitalizations, 35 fewer people than in the last report. There are 39 people in intensive care, two more than last week.

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Tuesday

Ottawa Police say they have not called for an emergency law as Liberals defend its use

Police patrol Wellington Street in Ottawa ahead of the arrival of the “Rolling Thunder” convoy protest on Friday April 29, 2022.
Police patrol Wellington Street in Ottawa ahead of the arrival of the “Rolling Thunder” convoy protest on Friday April 29, 2022. Photo by Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press/File

OTTAWA — While another police chief said he did not ask for the federal government’s emergency bill, Liberal Cabinet ministers continue to insist the move was necessary to clear the Freedom Convoy from Ottawa’s streets.

The convoy protests blocked large parts of downtown Ottawa for weeks earlier this year. This included Wellington Street, which runs in front of Parliament Hill and was blocked by trucks.

A parliamentary committee is considering whether Wellington Street and other nearby streets, which are currently under the jurisdiction of the City of Ottawa, should fall into the hands of the federal government.

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Tuesday

The CEO of the West Montreal Health Board will resign in July after the coroner’s report was destroyed

Lynne McVey speaks outside Lakeshore General Hospital in Pointe-Claire, Quebec on April 11, 2020.
Lynne McVey speaks outside Lakeshore General Hospital in Pointe-Claire, Quebec on April 11, 2020. Photo by Christine Muschi/Montreal Gazette

The head of a regional health agency in western Montreal will resign at the end of her mandate in July, according to a damning report from the Quebec coroner.

The health authority announced this in a press release about Lynne McVey.

McVey was one of the few people whose actions in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic were criticized by coroner Gehane Kamel in a report released Monday.

Kamel’s investigation looked at 53 deaths in long-term care early in the COVID-19 pandemic, including 47 at the Herron, a Montreal-area private nursing home.

The coroner criticized the management team at the regional health agency that took over the Herron, noting that most of the deaths at the facility occurred after it took control.

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Tuesday

Passengers staying on planes as COVID-19 protocols hold system: Canadian Airport Council

People wait in line to check in at Pearson International Airport in Toronto on May 12, 2022.
People wait in line to check in at Pearson International Airport in Toronto on May 12, 2022. Photo by Nathan Denette /THE CANADIAN PRESS

International arrivals at Canadian airports are so congested that people are being held on planes for over an hour after landing because there isn’t physically enough room to accommodate the rows of travelers, says the Canadian Airports Council.

Blaming COVID-19 protocols, the council has urged the federal government to eliminate random testing and public health questions at customs to reduce the severe delays passengers face upon arrival in Canada.

The extra steps mean it’s taking four times longer to process people when they arrive than it was before the pandemic, said the Council’s interim president, Monette Pasher. That was fine when people weren’t out, but now it’s become a serious problem.

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“We see that we clearly cannot have these public health requirements and tests at our limits when we travel regularly again,” she said.

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Tuesday

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves Pfizer’s COVID booster vaccine for young children

Antonio, 6, receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine December 16, 2021 at the Explora Children's Museum in Rome.
Antonio, 6, receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine December 16, 2021 at the Explora Children’s Museum in Rome. Photo by Yara Nardi /REUTERS/Files

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of a booster shot of Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11, the regulator said Tuesday.

The approval entitles everyone in the United States aged five and older to booster doses of the vaccine, although the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has yet to approve the shots.

“While it was largely true that COVID-19 tended to be less severe in children than in adults, the Omicron wave has seen more children contracting the disease and being hospitalized,” FDA Commissioner Robert Califf said in one Explanation.

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