The variant strain was detected in a person who had returned from the UK. According to Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, this person quickly isolated and health officials do not believe there has been any spread.
There was a delay between when this person arrived and when the symptoms started. There is therefore a theoretical possibility of transmission. For now, we have looked at the situation and believe the risk is very low, she argues.
The date and flight number of the infected person’s return have not yet been released.
We are working with the Public Health Agency of Canada to get flight details and a list of people who were on the same plane, said Dr. Hinshaw.
Dr Hinshaw recommends anyone who has arrived from the UK or South Africa in the past 14 days to get tested, whether there are symptoms present or not.
This is the fifth confirmed case of the new variant in Canada. On Saturday, two cases were reported in Durham region, a suburb east of Toronto. On Sunday, two new cases were confirmed in Canada, Ottawa and Vancouver.
A mixed review for the holiday season
This Monday is the first day since December 23 that Alberta Health Services publishes a detailed report on the spread of COVID-19 in the province. In the last 120 hours, the total of active cases continues to descend to 15,487 cases, or 2,334 since last Wednesday. The drop is in part due to fewer tests being done in the province, Dr Deena Hinshaw said at a press conference Monday.
Number of new cases, tests performed and deaths
- December 23: 1,007 new cases, 15,585 tests and 30 deaths
- December 24: 1,191 new cases, 17,845 tests and 18 deaths
- December 25: 914 new cases, 14,193 tests and 17 deaths
- December 26: 459 new cases, 6,866 tests and 27 deaths
- December 27: 917 new cases, 9,633 tests and 20 deaths
On Monday, 878 people are hospitalized, including 148 in intensive care.
It will likely be several weeks before the downward trend in cases is reflected in the number of deaths and intensive care hospitalizations and admissions, according to Deena Hinshaw.
We know that things like deaths, hospitalizations, intensive care, these are what we call delayed indicators because they occur with a delay of one to two weeks after we start to see our numbers. case change, she clarified.
So we would expect these numbers to take longer to drop than our number of cases.
The positivity rate ranged from 6 to 7 percent over the five-day period, but rose to over 9 percent on December 27.
A “tragic turning point”
During her press conference, Dr. Hinshaw called the update “difficult”, given the 112 deaths to be reported in the province. Crossing the 1,000 death mark also represents a “tragic turning point” in the pandemic, according to Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. In an emailed statement, however, he says there has been a “light at the end of the tunnel” since the start of the vaccination campaign in the province.
With information from CBC News