Manitoba reports 594 new cases of COVID-19, 3 more virus-related deaths – Winnipeg
Manitoba reported its second-highest number of COVID-19 per day on Friday and health officials say three more Manitobans with the virus have died.
Friday’s 594 new infections come just a day after Manitoba reported a record 603 new cases.
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Health officials also said two more intensive care patients with COVID-19 have been transferred to the northern Ontario hospital to free up beds in Manitoba.
That brings to five the number of critically ill patients with a novel coronavirus who have been moved out of the province this week due to overcapacity.
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“Decisions are not made lightly,” said Manitoba Chief Nursing Officer Lanette Siragusa, whose patients are selected for transfer.
“As we admit 10 (new intensive care patients) daily, as we did yesterday, we need to be able to make sure that we are stable to handle the influx and these long-term patients.
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“Our intensive care team is taking a close look at who are stable patients who might be suitable for this transfer, if any.”
An official from the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Center said the Global News Room could be set up for up to 20 Manitoba patients in hospitals across Northern Ontario, if needed.
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Earlier this week, Siragusa told 680 CJOBs that health officials in the province are also discussing with Saskatchewan officials the possibility of moving patients there.
The number of people in intensive care reached a record 131 on Wednesday before dropping to 125 on Thursday. Before the pandemic, Manitoba’s capacity was 72.
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On Friday morning, Siragusa said 129 people were in intensive care units across Manitoba. The number does not include those who transferred out of the province.
The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 rose to 296 on Friday, an increase of five from the previous day.
Health officials said two of the deaths announced on Friday – a woman in her 50s from Interlake East Health Region and a woman in her 90s from Prairie Mountain Health Region – are linked to the worrying variant B .1.1.7, identified for the first time. UK.
The death of the third victim, a woman in her 80s from the Prairie Mountain Health area, is linked to an outbreak at the Russell Health Center.
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The Winnipeg area recorded the most new cases on Friday with 420 infections reported, as has been the case for weeks now.
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In addition, 55 new infections were reported in Southern Health Region, 54 in Prairie Mountain Health Region, 39 were from Interlake East Health Region, and 26 were reported in Northern Health Region.
As of March 2020, 1,022 Manitobans with COVID-19 have died and 47,504 people have contracted the virus, according to provincial data.
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The five-day test positivity rate is 14.1% provincially and 16.1% in Winnipeg on Friday morning and the province says 4,855 cases remain active.
Health officials also reported 434 new confirmed cases of the variants of concern on Friday.
Since February, Manitoba has now recorded 8,070 variant cases and 45 deaths have been linked to the most contagious strains.
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According to a provincial online database that tracks variants of concern, the vast majority of VOC cases in the province – 3,800 – are strain B.1.1.7, 29 are variant B.1.351 first found in Africa from the South, 72 are the P .1 variant, first identified in Brazil, and are the B.1.617 variant first detected in India.
The province says 4,151 VOC cases have yet to be specified on the province’s website. There are currently 2,683 cases of active variants in Manitoba.
Latest cases and deaths come after weeks of rising daily cases and disastrous warnings from health officials that Manitoba’s health care system will not be able to handle spike in hospital admissions linked to the virus.
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Manitoba also recorded the highest rate of new COVID-19 infections per capita in the country in recent days.
In response to the increase in the number of cases and the swelling of intensive care units, the Progressive Conservative government tightened restrictions on Thursday for the fourth time in the last month by banning virtually all social gatherings, even at the outside.
Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday to discuss the COVID-19 situation in the province.
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Manitoba needs up to 50 critical care nurses, 20 respiratory therapists and up to 50 contact tracers from Statistics Canada, Pallister said after the meeting.
“This is going to be, hopefully, a temporary thing and a short-term thing, but the sooner we get some relief help here the better,” Pallister said.
Pallister said officials from both levels of government have been discussing the idea of bringing in staff from other provinces for about a week. He said the prime minister supported the idea.
Meanwhile, officials say all Indigenous people in Manitoba can begin scheduling an appointment for a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine on May 24.
–With files from The Canadian Press
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