The Canadian province of Ontario has extended and extended its home stay order on Friday, saying police will be given new powers to stop and question people leaving home, as expert advisers warn that new cases of COVID-1
Ontario also announced restrictions on minor travel from neighboring provinces on Monday and said minor construction activities, including construction projects in malls, hotels and office towers, would be closed from Saturday to deal with the raging third wave.
“The reality is that there are few opportunities left,” said Prime Minister Doug Ford. “The difficult truth is that any public health measure we have left carries huge costs for people.”
New forecasts released by a provincial advisory group on Friday show new cases rising more than 10,000 a day in June if “moderate” public health measures remain in place for six weeks and vaccination levels remain roughly equal. Ontario, home to 38 percent of Canada’s population, announced a record 4,812 cases on Friday.
Adalstein Brown, co-chair of the advisory panel, said the moderate scenario was equivalent to the home stay order announced last week. The number of patients in need of intensive care could reach 2,000 in May, up from 695 on Friday, according to the forecast.
The terrible forecast came when Moderna (MRNA.O) said it would cut its next shipment to Canada by almost half to 650,000 doses, and Canada announced a deal to buy another 8 million doses of Pfizer vaccines. Read more
In recent weeks, Ontario has closed schools, restaurants, restricted shopping and canceled elective operations as the influx of admissions has threatened to overwhelm hospitals.
HOSPITALS UNDER PRESSURE
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the Canadian government would help severely damage Toronto, the provincial capital and the country’s largest city.
“We will do whatever it takes to help,” Trudeau told reporters. “Discussions are continuing for additional healthcare providers and we are ready to step up.”
Trudeau said Canada has agreed to purchase 8 million additional doses of Pfizer vaccine, including 4 million to be delivered in May, almost doubling Pfizer’s shipments this month. Earlier, federal officials said most Canadians should receive their first dose by the end of June.
At the northern end of Toronto, Sunnybrook Hospital is preparing to open a mobile health unit, effectively a field hospital, for some patients with COVID immediately after next week, a spokesman said in an email.
The city’s University Health Network (UHN) has set up tents in two emergency rooms to increase space.
The number of patients in UHN of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, an artificial lung treatment sometimes used to maintain the sickest patients with COVID, reaches 23, including 20 with COVID. Earlier, the hospital network said it could treat up to 30 patients.
Separately, Health Canada announced on Friday that it had received an application from Pfizer and BioNTech to expand its use of the vaccine to children 12 and older, compared with 16 and older.
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