Ontario finds Canada’s first cases of Omicron COVID-19 variant. Here’s what we know

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Canada has detected its first two cases of the Omicron COVID-19 variant.

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a Statement from the Ministry of Health of Ontario confirmed that cases of the variant recently declared by the WHO as the fifth variant of the novel coronavirus have been identified in Ontario.

“Today, the province of Ontario has confirmed two cases of the Omicron version of COVID-19 in Ottawa, both of which were reported in individuals with recent travel from Nigeria. Ottawa Public Health of Cases and Contact Management is operating and the patients are in isolation,” read the statement.

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“In addition to the recently announced measures, we continue to urge the federal government to take necessary steps to mandate arrival point testing for all travelers, regardless of where they are from, to protect against the spread of this new variant Are you coming? ,

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South African scientists first this week identified the heavily mutated variant after an exponential rise in cases, prompting several countries, including Canada, to impose new travel restrictions on a wide area of ​​southern African nations.

Public health experts and officials were concerned by the mutation’s high number of variants – with preliminary data showing for the first time increased transmission efficiency, decreased vaccine effectiveness and increased re-infection.

Other experts were quick to point out South Africa’s low vaccination rates, which currently account for less than 30 percent of the total population, as well as a lack of evidence suggesting that the variant is deadlier than the current dominant strains of the virus. .

Canadian public health officials have previously said that getting vaccinated is still the best way to prevent the most serious consequences of contracting COVID-19, and its potential to completely circumvent the protection offered by vaccination has yet to be There was no definite proof.

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A handful of vaccine manufacturers recently announced that they were developing or investigating ways to enhance or create new versions of their shots to combat omicrons.

The most recent was that of Moderna, whose chief medical officer, Dr. Paul Burton, told the BBC that a new vaccine could be developed by “early 2022” if necessary.

“The remarkable thing about the mRNA vaccine, Moderna Platform, is that we can move very fast,” he said, adding that the company began work on the Omicron vaccine on Thursday.

Canada’s vaccination rate is also among the highest in the world, with about 80 percent of the country’s eligible population already vaccinated against COVID-19.

Public health experts told Granthshala News on Friday, shortly before Canada’s new travel restrictions were announced, that they would not be surprised if the variant was “already here” and spreading within Canada’s borders.

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On Sunday, the Netherlands, Denmark and Australia became the latest countries with Canada to discover the new version among their cases.

The variant has already been found in Belgium, Botswana, Israel, Hong Kong, UK, Germany and Italy.

more to come…

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