Tag Archives: Wuhan corona virus

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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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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Coronavirus: Mexico, Brazil will not limit the AstraZeneca vaccine after the UK blood clot warning | Instant News

MEXICO CITY – Mexico and Brazil health regulators said on Wednesday they would not limit the use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 injections after a UK vaccine advisory committee recommended against using them for people under 30, citing the rare risk of blood clots.

Mexico’s drug regulator, Cofepris, said in a statement that it was investigating information submitted by the UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI) and awaiting further input from Mexican partners.

“At present, Cofepris does not plan to limit the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine to any age or group,” the statement said.

Brazilian health regulator Anvisa recommends continued use of the vaccine, saying the benefits outweigh the risks.

Anvisa said Brazil had given more than 4 million injections of the AstraZeneca vaccine and had recorded 47 adverse blood clotting events. The agency said it was impossible to determine whether the clot was related to the vaccine, nor could it identify specific risk factors.

Brazil only ranks behind the United States in total COVID-19 cases and deaths. Mexico has the fourth highest death toll.

The JCVI said it would prefer adults under 30 who do not have an underlying condition to be offered an alternative to the AstraZeneca vaccine if one is available, due to reports of rare side effects from blood clots in the brain.

Mexico has so far obtained 3.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine developed with University of Oxford researchers, according to government data.

Some of this came through a loan agreement with the United States, where AstraZeneca injections are not yet permitted, and from a deal with the Serum Institute of India, which produces the vaccine.

Mexico and Argentina also have an agreement with AstraZeneca to produce its vaccine for distribution in Latin America, with financial support from the foundation of Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim.


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Canadian families living in New Zealand receive a COVID-19 benefit check addressed to the daughter who died | Instant News

TORONTO – A Canadian family who has lived in New Zealand for the past 18 years said they had received a COVID-19 benefit check addressed to their disabled daughter who died in 2009, despite never applying for any financial assistance.

Sandra Walsh and her family moved from Winnipeg to Christchurch, NZ in 2003 with their four children. At that time, their youngest daughter Bonnie, who had Down’s syndrome, was one year old.

Walsh explained in Zoom’s interview with CTVNews.ca in March that Bonnie was diagnosed with cancer two years after arriving in New Zealand. Bonnie later died in 2009, at the age of seven.

“Imagine my surprise to find a letter from the Government of Canada in our mailbox, here in Christchurch, a check for $ 600,” Walsh said.

Walsh said no information was included with the check, the memo line simply said, “Benefit Payment,” and it was addressed to Bonnie.

Walsh said the family notified the Canadian consulate in New Zealand when Bonnie died and filled out related documents in 2009. He said the family later received a death certificate for Bonnie, as well as her canceled passport.

Walsh said they had not received a letter from the Canadian government since.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Walsh said the family did not apply for any financial assistance through the Canadian government, because they do not live in Canada and do not need support.

“I didn’t even think about doing that, because we don’t really have a pandemic here in New Zealand,” Walsh said.

“It seems strange that the Canadian government would send pandemic support to someone living in New Zealand,” he added.

While Walsh admitted it was clear there was a mistake in issuing a check to a deceased Canadian citizen living in another country, he said he was confused about how no one caught the mistake before the check landed in New Zealand.

“It just takes a lot of money to make a check, do all the work and then send it,” he said, adding that the resources could be used for other Canadians who are still alive and in need.


Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) told CTVNews.ca on Tuesday that a benefit check addressed to Bonnie was a one-time payment of $ 600 for PwDs to help with additional costs incurred amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Many Canadians are eligible for this one-time payment, including Canadians with a Disability Tax Credit (DTC) certificate, and recipients of a Canadian Pension Plan Disability (CPPD), Quebec Pension Plan (QPPD) disability pension, and seven Canadian Veterans Affairs Benefits ( VAC) from July 1, 2020, “said ESDC in an emailed statement.

“Because children with disabilities can qualify for DTC, some will receive a one-time stipend.”

The ESDC explained that the payment was based on Canadian Revenue Agency records and said the agency “will only have information about a person’s death if a family member has contacted CRA or Service Canada to notify them of the child’s death.”

“If the children do not have an identifiable Canada Child Benefit (CCB) parent or guardian at the CRA by July 1, 2020, the check will be written in their name,” said ESDC.

According to the ESDC, a one-time payment is provided to an estimated 1.7 million Canadians with a disability.

The department did not provide information on whether it had been notified of another check sent in error, but said Walsh’s case was “extremely rare and unfortunate.”

“The Canadian government deeply regrets the immeasurable loss of this family,” said ESDC.

While Walsh said his family notified the government of Bonnie’s death through the Canadian consulate in New Zealand in 2009, he said he was not told he was responsible for contacting separate departments within the government, including CRA, to make sure each one knew. Bonnie has died.

“Being in New Zealand we did the right thing by contacting the Canadian consulate here, who told us we could file our child’s death with them and they would pass the information on to the government. The consulate acknowledged it was an amazing experience. And they will take it from there, “explained Walsh.

Since her family left Canada when Bonnie was a baby, Walsh said she didn’t expect her daughter to have any record with CRA.

“Given that we never received a Disability Tax Credit certificate or any payment for our child with disabilities and left the country when he was one year old, I’m not sure how there will be records of where the Disability Tax Credit certificate came from to issue the payment,” said Walsh.

Walsh said he hopes other parents do not have to “experience the joy of the letter addressed to their deceased child” because they did not inform CRA of their death.

Since Bonnie turns 19 in June, Walsh said he understands why the check was issued in his name. However, he said it would not make sense for the government to then say the payment went to his parents’ address in New Zealand.


When Walsh found the letter in his mailbox, he said he was confused and a little surprised. If he received the check a year or two after Bonnie died, he said it “would knock him down.”

“If someone’s child has recently died and they get a support check, it can be very upsetting,” Walsh said, adding that this is not the first time Bonnie has received a letter after her death.

She explained that her family received a satisfaction survey from Bonnie’s hospital regarding a missed appointment. Walsh said he missed the appointment because he had died.

Although Walsh never planned to cash the check because it was not addressed to him, he said it would be great to donate to the New Zealand Champion Center, which provides multi-disciplinary early intervention services to children with significant disabilities, in Bonnie’s honor. .

“But I don’t think I should have done it. It would be a scam … to cash my daughter’s check who has not lived for 12 years,” he said.

ESDC told CTVNews.ca that “payment must be refunded” and provided a mailing address and website link at what to do when a loved one dies to be forwarded to Walsh.

He said the information on the link was “informative,” but a little late.

“If our other child dies, we now know what to do. I don’t know if the link was available twelve years ago,” Walsh said in response.

He said no one from ESDC or CRA had contacted him directly about the check.

Walsh said he would return the check if he could find it. He said CRA can freeze him until then.

“There’s a picture of it. Feel free to stop paying Bonnie’s check. She won’t cash it any time soon,” Walsh said.

Edited by Ryan Flanagan of CTVNews.ca


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Coronavirus: Brazil gives emergency approval for the J&J Covid vaccine | Instant News

BRASILIA, BRAZIL – Brazil approved Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use on Wednesday, the fourth vaccine to have regulatory approval in the hardest-hit country.

Federal health regulator Anvisa says its board has unanimously approved the vaccine for use in priority groups such as healthcare providers and the elderly.

Brazil signed a deal with the US pharmaceutical giant two weeks ago for 38 million doses of the vaccine, but they will only start arriving in August.

The South American country is struggling to get enough vaccine doses to immunize its 212 million inhabitants, even as the COVID-19 explosion pushed hospitals to breaking point.

Brazil also has an agreement with Pfizer for 100 million doses of the vaccine, which will start arriving between April and May.

Brazil is currently implementing two vaccines, Oxford / AstraZeneca’s and China-developed CoronaVac, both of which require two doses.

With only eight percent of the population receiving the first dose and 2.3 percent per second, the country is still far from the health ministry’s goal of immunizing all adults by the end of the year.

That has sparked criticism of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, who has downplayed the threat of the coronavirus, refused to buy various vaccines and said he himself did not plan to be vaccinated.

COVID-19 has claimed more than 321,000 lives in Brazil, second only to the United States, and is only showing signs of increasing until enough vaccines arrive.

Brazil’s average daily death toll has more than quadrupled since the start of the year, to 2,976 this week, the highest so far worldwide.

March is Brazil’s deadliest month in the pandemic, with 66,573 people killed by Covid-19, according to health ministry figures.

That’s more than double the previous record of 32,881 deaths in July 2020.


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