Tag Archives: COVID

Coronavirus: Brazil asks women to postpone pregnancy because of fears of a new variant of the virus | Instant News


SAO PAULO – Brazil asked women on Friday to delay getting pregnant until the worst of the pandemic has passed, saying the variant of the virus that ravaged the South American country appears to be affecting pregnant women more than previous versions of the coronavirus.

The recommendations come as Brazil continues to be one of the centers of the global pandemic, with more Brazilians dying from the virus every day than anywhere else in the world.

Hospitals are under pressure and stocks of drugs needed to intubate seriously ill patients are running low, with Brazil turning to international partners for help with emergency supplies.

“If possible, delay pregnancy a little until a better time,” Health Ministry official Raphael Parente told a news conference on Friday.

He said the recommendations were partly due to pressure on the health system but also because of the more contagious Brazilian variant known as P.1.

“The clinical experience of specialists shows that this new variant acts more aggressively in pregnant women,” said Parente.

Previously, COVID-19 cases during pregnancy were focused on the final trimester and delivery, whereas more recently there have been more serious cases in the second and sometimes first trimester, he said.

Parente did not provide further details.

The P.1 variant, first discovered in the Amazon city of Manaus, quickly became dominant in Brazil. It is thought to be the main factor behind a massive second wave of infections that has brought the country’s death toll to more than 350,000 – the second highest in the world after the United States.

The outbreak in Brazil is increasingly affecting younger people, with hospital data showing that in March more than half of all patients in intensive care were 40 years or younger.

President Jair Bolsonaro has opposed the lockdown and held large events in which he often did not wear a mask. He has recently used a vaccine as a possible solution, but inoculation launches have been plagued by delays and missing targets to get people inoculated.

This week, vaccinations were halted in several cities due to a shortage of vaccine supplies, according to local media.

The spike in COID-19 cases has also left hospitals short on the sedative needed for patients requiring mechanical ventilation.

An emergency shipment of drugs arrived in Brazil on Thursday evening from China, while a donation from Spain is expected to arrive next week.

Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo have both sounded the alarm over shortages, with Sao Paulo’s health secretary saying this week that the city’s ability to treat seriously ill COVID-19 patients was on the brink of collapse.

Despite a drug shortage and 85% of intensive care beds filled, Sao Paulo announced on Friday that it would begin reopening shops and restaurants, saying the number of new hospitalizations had fallen enough to do so safely.

(Reporting by Eduardo Simoes, written by Stephen Eisenhammer, Editing by Bill Berkrot)

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Moderna estimates that vaccine shipments to the UK, Canada will be postponed, the EU, Switzerland will be launched as planned | Instant News


A bottle of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is seen at pharmaceutical company Apotex as the mobile vaccine clinic of Humber River Hospital vaccines employees as part of a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination campaign, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada April 13, 2021. REUTERS / Carlos Osorio

Moderna Inc (MRNA.O) said on Friday a shortage of the COVID-19 vaccine from a European supplier would delay deliveries to countries including Canada and the UK, but shipments to the European Union and Switzerland are on the right track.

The drugmaker will deliver about 650,000 doses by the end of April, not the 1.2 million expected, said Canadian Procurement Minister Anita Anand.

In addition, one million to two million doses of Moderna out of the 12.3 million doses scheduled for the second quarter will be postponed to the third. Read more

This delivery problem further complicates European vaccine problems which have been exacerbated by the rare side effects associated with AstraZeneca’s and Johnson & Johnson’s. (JNJ.N) vaccines, with the UK advising pregnant women now to get an injection of Moderna or Pfizer. Read more

Moderna officials highlighted the problem of improving its vaccine manufacturing supply chain, which includes contract drug manufacturer Lonza (LONN.S). Swiss companies are under pressure to start operations at three new facilities that make active ingredients for Moderna’s mRNA vaccine.

“Vaccine production is a very complex process and a number of elements, including human and material resources, have contributed to this instability,” said Patricia Gauthier, an executive at Moderna Canada.

A Moderna spokesman in Europe said EU and Swiss shipments in Q2 were still expected to come within the expected range, without giving a range. Read more

Lonza, who also makes Moderna ingredients for US use in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, did not respond to a request for comment about delays in its production line in Switzerland.

“SAILING SPEED”

Lonza Chief Executive Pierre-Alain Ruffieux said it would take months before the plant reached “cruising speed”.

With Lonza under pressure, Moderna this week signed Rovi from Spain (ROVI.MC), another contract drug maker that already bottled Moderna’s vaccine, to build a new ingredient production facility in Granada to boost European production. Read more

Bottlers, also called “fill-and-finish”, remain on track at Rovi, as well as the French line which will soon run on Sweden’s Recipharm RCPHF.PK.

Canada has distributed 2.82 million doses of Moderna vaccine as of April 14 and a total of 12.7 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Moderna targets to deliver 700 million to 1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine globally this year, and more than 2 billion doses next year.

Our standard: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Coronavirus: PHAC is suspending additional screening guidelines for travelers from Brazil amid a surge in variants in Canada | Instant News


OTTAWA – Canada’s Public Health Agency has scrapped their recommendation for additional screening measures applied to travelers arriving from Brazil, as variants associated with the country spread rapidly through Canada.

In a statement to CTVNews.ca, the agency said because the P.1 variant exists in Canada and there is no clear evidence that the additional inquiry protocol adds “operational value,” PHAC has requested that the Canadian Border Service Agency reflect guidance.

It added that Canada’s testing and quarantine measures were some of the most stringent globally.

“These enhanced testing and quarantine measures are being carried out to reduce the risk of imports and transmission of COVID-19 and new variants of the virus associated with international travel. The Government of Canada’s strict testing and quarantine measures currently apply to all travelers, unless they meet the exemptions in the Order in Council, regardless of their country of origin, “the statement read.

Current existing three variants of attention were identified in Canada: P.1, variant B.1.1.7 to the UK, and B.1.351 to South Africa. While B.1.1.7 remains the most dominant with 52,536 cases reported nationwide, infection of the P.1 variant is on the rise, particularly in Western Canada.

BC has 1,532 cases, followed by Ontario with 200 and Alberta with 153. At her monthly modeling presentation on Thursday, BC provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said while there was a known outbreak of variant P.1 in the Whistler area, it is now tracking across multiple regions.

Due to a surge in variance in his province, BC Prime Minister John Horgan toyed with the idea of ‚Äč‚Äčimposing stricter interprovincial borders.

All travelers to Canada must show evidence of a negative PCR test within 72 hours of their departure flight. After landing in the country, passengers must take another test before leaving the airport and wait for the results at an official government hotel. If their test is negative, they are allowed to return home for two weeks of compulsory self-quarantine.

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Sindh reported 561 cases of Covid with 50% belonging to Karachi | Instant News


KARACHI: Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah on Friday said in a daily Covid briefing that the province had recognized 561 new infections in a 24-hour test period with three victims, ARY News reported.

In the past 24 hours, CM said 11,623 tests were carried out across the province of which 561 were diagnosed as Covid-positive.

On the same day, the briefing noted that 404 previously infected patients posted recoveries from the virus in the province which means 259,792 have so far recovered in Sindh following the virus.

With three new deaths reported today, the total death toll from Covid in the province stands at 4,544, CM Shah confirmed in his briefing.

It can be noted that out of a total of 561 Sindh cases, 278 (or nearly 50 percent) belonged to Karachi.

READ: The Sindh government changed the closing days, market times and trading centers

Separately going to happen today, the Sindh Home Affairs Department has issued new directives regarding markets and trading centers for their closing times and days.

Directives issued by Sindh home the department imposed new restrictions in a bid to curb the coronavirus which will take effect from May 16.

Under the new instructions, trading activity will be completely closed on Saturdays and Sundays, while market times and trading centers also change.

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The UK delivers nearly 550,000 COVID vaccines every day | Instant News


Britain shipped nearly 550,000 vaccines in a 24-hour period, helping to increase the number of people who have now had a second vaccine, official data showed on Friday.

According to official figures, 129,782 first doses were given, bringing the total to 32.57 million, and 417,683 second doses were distributed, bringing the total to 8.93 million.

Another 34 people died after testing positive for the virus in 28 days, up slightly from the 30 recorded on Thursday, and 2,596 new cases detected, slightly down from 2,672 the previous day.

Our standard: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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