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COVID-19 update for April 26: Here’s what you need to know


Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the coronavirus situation in B.C. and around the world.

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Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the COVID-19 situation in B.C. and around the world for April 26, 2022.

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We’ll provide summaries of what’s going on right here so you can get the latest news at a glance. This page will be updated regularly throughout the day, with developments added as they happen, so be sure to check back often.

You can also get the latest COVID-19 news delivered to your inbox weeknights at 7 p.m. by subscribing to our newsletter here.


HEADLINES AT A GLANCE

• The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted the first full approval for treating COVID-19 in children aged 28 days and older to Gilead Sciences Inc’s drug remdesivir.
• A House of Commons committee has been warned that new COVID-19 variants will continue to emerge unless the low vaccination rate in poorer countries rises.
•Turkey ready to lift all COVID-19 measures, Erdogan says

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Here are the latest figures given on April 21 for the week of April 10 to 16:

• Hospitalized cases: 485
• Intensive care: 38
• Total deaths over seven days: 27 (total 3,077)
• New cases: 2,036 over seven days
• Total number of confirmed cases: 361,034

Read the full report here | Next update: April 28 at 1 p.m. (or later)


LATEST NEWS on COVID-19 in B.C.

The end game for ‘endomicity’: Are we there yet with COVID?

People all over social media are posting photos of their positive rapid tests, Saskatchewan’s sixth wave is seeing record hospitalizations of COVID-positive people and Ontario’s chief medical officer of health is warning of a “difficult week” ahead.

However, there are signs the latest wave may be peaking in parts of Canada, though the impact of the recent long holiday weekend is still a wild card, federal health officials said Friday.

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Where is the country at with COVID? “In a way we’re kind of in this weird place. And where we are is really building community immunity,” said Dr. Doug Manuel, a physician and senior scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and a member of Ontario’s COVID-19 science advisory table.

Omicron’s arrival has led to a massive shift in the nature of population immunity in Canada, said Dr. David Naylor, co-chair of Canada’s COVID-19 Immunity Task force.

Read the full story here.

— Sharon Kirkey, National Post

U.S. FDA approves Gilead’s COVID-19 drug for young children

The U.S. drug regulator on Monday granted the first full approval for treating COVID-19 in children aged 28 days and older to Gilead Sciences Inc’s drug remdesivir.

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The move comes months after the agency expanded the drug’s emergency use authorization to also include children below 12 years of age weighing at least 3.5 kilograms.

The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) decision makes the drug the first approved COVID-19 treatment for children less than 12 years of age, the agency said.

The approval is applicable to children who are hospitalized, or have mild-to-moderate disease and are at high risk of severe COVID-19.

— Reuters

Turkey ready to lift all COVID-19 measures, Erdogan says

President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that Turkey is ready to lift all measures against the coronavirus, adding that mask wearing will no longer be obligatory indoors.

Speaking after the final meeting of the advisory science council, Erdogan said masks will still be mandated on public transport and in medical institutions until daily new cases drop below 1,000.

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Turkey had previously lifted the requirement to wear masks outdoors and in indoor areas with good ventilation.

Daily COVID-19 cases in Turkey have dropped to below 3,000 in recent days, from around 15,000 at the end of March. Tests have more than halved in the same period to around 130,000 daily.

—Reuters

New variants will fuel COVID pandemic unless global vaccine rate rises: Gavi, UNICEF

With pandemic restrictions easing across Canada, a House of Commons committee was warned today that disruptive new variants of COVID-19 will continue to emerge every few months unless the low vaccination rate in poorer countries rises.

The message was delivered to the Commons foreign affairs committee by the head of Gavi, the international organization leading the distribution of vaccines to the developing world, and a senior United Nations Children’s Agency official.

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Seth Berkley, the head of Gavi, said while Canada is offering fourth doses of COVID-19 vaccines and has a vaccination rate above 80 per cent of the population, the global rate is just 59 per cent.

He said in the poorest 18 countries, less than 10 per cent of people are fully vaccinated.

Berkley said with 2.7 billion people unvaccinated around the world COVID-19 has ample space to mutate into new variants, including the recent Omicron strain, which is sickening triple-vaccinated people in the developed world.

“Even though many countries with high coverage have now relaxed restrictions and reopened their societies, we are still in a state of global crisis,” said Berkley. “So far, a new variant has emerged roughly every four to five months, and globally, nothing has changed to give us reason to believe that this pattern won’t continue.”

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— The Canadian Press


What are B.C.’s current public health measures?

MASKS: Masks are not required in public indoor settings though individual businesses and event organizers can choose to require them.

Masks are also encouraged but not required on board public transit and B.C. Ferries, though they are still required in federally regulated travel spaces such as trains, airports and airplanes, and in health-care settings.

GATHERINGS AND EVENTS: There are currently no restrictions on gatherings and events such as personal gatherings, weddings, funerals, worship services, exercise and fitness activities, and swimming pools.

There are also no restrictions or capacity limits on restaurants, pubs, bars and nightclubs; and no restrictions on sport activities.

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CARE HOMES: There are no capacity restrictions on visitors to long-term care and seniors’ assisted living facilities, however, visitors must show proof of vaccination before visiting. Exemptions are available for children under the age of 12, those with a medical exemption, and visitors attending for compassionate visits related to end of life.

Visitors to seniors’ homes are also required to take a rapid antigen test before visiting the facility or be tested on arrival. Exemptions to testing are available for those attending for compassionate visits or end-of-life care.


How do I get vaccinated in B.C.?

Everyone who is living in B.C. and eligible for a vaccine can receive one by following these steps:

• Get registered online at gov.bc.ca/getvaccinated to book an appointment in your community.
• Or, if you prefer, you can get registered and then visit a drop-in clinic in your health authority.
• The system will alert you when it is time to go for your second dose.
• The same system will also alert you when it is time for your booster dose.

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Where can I get a COVID-19 test?

TESTING CENTRES: B.C.’s COVID-19 test collection centres are currently only testing those with symptoms who are hospitalized, pregnant, considered high risk or live/work with those who are high risk. You can find a testing centre using the B.C. Centre for Disease Control’s testing centre map.

If you have mild symptoms, you do not need a test and should stay home until your fever is gone. Those without symptoms do not need a test.

TAKE-HOME RAPID ANTIGEN TESTS: Eligible British Columbians over the age of 18 with a personal health number can visit a pharmacy to receive a free take-home test kit containing five COVID-19 rapid antigen tests.


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