#Quebec; #Tobacco; #Smoking; #Covid19Pandemic; #VapingProducts
A few days before the World No Tobacco Day, which will take place on May 31, the launch of the Strategy for a Tobacco-Free Quebec 2020-2025 recalls the importance of continue collective efforts in the fight against smoking, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Horacio Arruda. Image credit: Twitter handle
“The face of the fight against smoking is changing...great popularity and accessibility of vaping products as well as the legalization of cannabis are among the new challenges...detailed measures included in the new strategy will guide our efforts to reach the target of 10% smokers in Quebec by 2025," said Horacio Arruda , National Director of Public Health
Because of the deaths, illnesses and financial burden it causes, smoking remains a public health priority. In Quebec, in recent decades, the smoking rate has trended downward, but has stagnated at around 18 percent between 2014 and 2018 and remains higher among certain groups of the population.
We should add that the arrival and diversification of vaping products offered on the market, as well as the enthusiasm of young people for these products, requires the development of effective intervention strategies to prevent the risks associated with them.
It should also be noted that more and more studies indicate that people who smoke are more vulnerable to COVID-19 because of the higher risks of severe symptoms and complications. More than ever, quitting smoking therefore becomes a protective factor for health.
Thus, in order to guide and reinforce the concerted efforts of all the actors involved in the fight against smoking, the strategy includes a set of measures that aim to reach the target of 10% of daily and occasional smokers in Quebec.
These measures revolve around four areas of intervention: denormalization of smoking; prevention of the use of tobacco and vaping products among young people; quitting smoking; and protection from exposure to second-hand and third-hand smoke from tobacco products.
#Campbellton #NB; #ContactTracing; #Coovid19Pandemic
Campbellton (N.B.), May 28 (Canadian-Media): New Brunswick (N.B), which until last week, had no active cases of COVID-19, has reported the total cluster of cases in the northern part of the province to six, Dr. Jennifer Russell, the chief medical officer of health of N.B. announced May 28, media reports said.
Dr Jennifer Russell. Image credit: Twitter handle
Three of the latest addition of COVID-19 cases in Cambellton, N.B., were linked to a medical professional at the local hospital who contracted the coronavirus outside the province and didn't self-isolate when he returned.
Information about the case has been passed along to the RCMP to determine if the case warrants charges.
At least 150 people were exposed to the medical professional, including 50 health-care workers at the Campbellton Regional Hospital and 100 people in the community, said the head of the Vitalité Health Network.
Gilles Lanteigne, president and CEO of Vitalité Health Network said there were definitely more people who were exposed and expected 500 people to be tested within the next couple of days.
Lanteigne declined to identify the medical professional or their profession but said according to the working agreement he or she would be subject to disciplinary action.
Widespread testing is expected to be conducted in the testing centres on Friday through Sunday at the Memorial Civic Centre in Campbellton and the Dalhousie Inch Arran Ice Palace for anyone in the region who wants to get tested — whether they've had contact with the individual or not, or if they do not have symptoms.
The Campbellton region, also known as health Zone 5, is now at a higher risk due to the actions of one irresponsible individual, Higgs told reporters.
As of Wednesday, 23,296 coronavirus tests were performed in New Brunswick, with 120 people recoveries from the respiratory disease.
#CityOfToronto; #Covid19GeographicalInformation; #TorontoPublicHealth
Toronto, May 28 (Canadian-Media): In an effort to fight he spread of this virus in the City of Toronto, the City released May 27 geographic information on COVID-19 cases in Toronto, media reports said.
City of Toronto. Image credit: Twitter handle
This information provides the information of the whereabouts of people impacted by COVID-19, Toronto Public Health, by assessment of other important risk factors, is better able to inform preventive actions such as identify where testing could be helpful to reduce virus spread.
Although it is reflected by the maps, where individuals live, it does not necessarily reflect the source of the virus or where they were exposed.
Areas with lower rates of COVID-19 cases are not necessarily safer and do not pose less of a risk of infection.
Case status data and geographic maps can be found on the City’s reporting platform at https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-latest-city-of-toronto-news/covid-19-status-of-cases-in-toronto/.
"No neighbourhood is immune", said Toronto Mayor John Tory.
John Tory. Image credit: Twitter handle
He added that throughout this pandemic he has made tireless efforts to honestly assess the situations.
He also requested Dr. Eileen de Villa, Medical Officer of Health and Toronto Public Health to release geographic information on COVID-19 cases in the city of Toronto, said Tory.
This information will be a reminder where COVID-19 is present and would alert vigilance in following public health advice, and support people affected by this illness.
Tory said that people exhibiting even one symptom of COVID-19 should get tested.
#B.C.; #Covid19Decline; TravelAdvisoryToBeCloseAtHome; #MoreCasesCouleBeSeenInFall
Vancouver (B.C.), May 25 (Canadian-Media): Progress in slowing down of COVID-19 in British Columbia (B.C) has made it to move into a new phase of the response with lifting of some restrictions, but Dr. Bonnie Henry, the provincial health officer advises British Columbians to keep their travel close to home this summer, media reports said.
Dr Bonnie Henry. Image credit: Offcial site of B.C.
She said many small communities including some First Nations that could be more vulnerable to illness may not want people coming in.
Henry said it would be better to those communities to let them decide if it's safe for people to visit.
Henry also said, during the weekend, that the province's public health teams are getting ready this summer to do more contact tracing.
This fall may see an increase in the number COVID-19 cases, Henry said, besides the usual respiratory illnesses seen every year.
She said the public health team in each health authority is provided with retired doctors, nurses as well as medical students to do contact tracing.
#NationalHealth; #Covid19Pandemic; #PHAC
Ottawa, May 24 (Canadian-Media): In lieu of a daily in-person update to the media, Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's Chief Public Health Officer, issued the following statement today:
Theresa Tam. Image credit: Twitter handle
"As of Sunday, May 24, there are 84,081 COVID-19 cases, including 6,380 deaths. More than 43,640 or 52 percent of cases are now recovered. Labs across Canada have tested 1,454,000 people for COVID-19 to date, with about 5 percent of these testing positive. We are now testing an average of 28,000 people daily. These numbers represent what we know at this moment, and change quickly. I encourage Canadians to consult Canada.ca/coronavirus for the latest information.
Today marks the beginning of Paramedic Services Week and I want to thank paramedics across the country. You're our first responders, saving lives everyday and providing expert medical assistance, including during times of extreme crisis.
You are on site providing critical care in the initial moments of a healthcare emergency. And the crucial role you play within the health care system is even more apparent during the COVID-19 crisis. Thank you for your ongoing dedication to keeping Canadians safe, under these extraordinary circumstances.
Paramedics continue to respond to medical emergencies every day, so please do not wait until it is too late to seek medical attention if you need it. Paramedics have put in place additional precautions to keep patients safe. A reminder to all Canadians to continue following your local health authority guidelines. If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, contact your local health authority. They can provide you with information on testing.
It is only by working together that we will make it through this pandemic. Thank you as always for your contribution in helping Canada flatten its curve."
#Ontario; #Covid19TestingTarget; #TestAsymptomaticPeople; #NewAssessmentCentres
Ottawa, May 24 (Canadian-Media): After Ontario missed the testing target for the seventh day in a row, and with Ontario reporting 461 new COVID-19 cases, on May 24, highest new case count since May 8, Ontario Premier Doug Ford made a public plea on Sunday, asking people to get tested even if they are asymptomatic, media reports said.
Doug Ford. Image credit: Twitter handle
Ford's message that symptomatic people can also get tested contradicts earlier guidelines Ministry of Health issued for the general public which said that only people displaying one or more symptoms of the novel coronavirus should be tested.
Ford said Ontario has opened 129 COVID-19 assessment centres and added mass testing is the province's best defence against the virus, and said the only way for the province to reach testing capacity is for people to go to provincial assessment centres.
The province was able to process only 11,383 tests on Saturday out of a 16,000 daily benchmark.
In a statement issued Sunday, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath criticized the Ford government for a week of "abysmally low" COVID-19 testing numbers, and is calling for "systemic testing" of all asymptomatic people outside of assessment centres, saying the current method is "not enough."
The province now has a total of 25,500 cases, which includes 19,477 resolved cases and 2,073 deaths.
878 people remain in hospital with the virus with about 148 people in intensive care, 104 of whom are on a ventilator.
Starting Saturday, new testing regulations were issued with asymptomatic front-line health-care workers being tested across the province.
A new "detailed" testing strategy would soon be released by Ontario, said Ford, to target various sectors and COVID-19 hot spots across Ontario.
Canada; PHAC; #Covid19Pandemic; #Guidelines
Ottawa, May 23 (Canadian-Media): In lieu of a daily in-person update to the media, Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, issued the following statement today:
Theresa Tam. Image credit: Twitter handle
“As of Saturday, May 23, there are 82,892 COVID-19 cases, including 6,277 deaths. More than 42,980 or 52 percent of cases are now recovered. Labs across Canada have tested 1,429,000 people for COVID-19 to date, with about 5 percent of these testing positive. We are now testing an average of 28,000 people daily. These numbers represent what we know at this moment, and change quickly. I encourage Canadians to consult Canada.ca/coronavirus for the latest information.
Provinces and territories across the country are cautiously reopening, and they’ve been able to do so because of the sacrifices Canadians have made. By staying home as much as possible, and physically distancing from one another when out, we’ve slowed down the spread of the virus.
Essential workers have made sure that our health care system has been able to cope, our grocery stores are stocked, and our communities have the supplies we need. We are all indebted to their commitment to making sure the most crucial parts of our society continue to service those that need it.
Canadians have also come together to support each other through the COVID-19 crisis. Every province and territory is continuing their efforts on preparedness, including stepping up contact tracing. Research and innovative continues on the development of medical countermeasures, including therapies and vaccines.
This is all to say that while the COVID-19 pandemic has presented us with challenges that will continue for the foreseeable future, it has also reminded us of our resiliency as a community, and our capacity to achieve what needs to be done.
Please continue following the guidelines that have been set out by your local health authorities. Go out smart, stay safe, and thank you as always for your ongoing dedication.”
#Canada; #Covid19PandemicStress; #EmotionalSupport; #KidsHelpLine
Ottawa, May 20 (Canadian-Media): Emotional support is being offered by thousands of volunteers to Canadians under the grip of an unprecedented level of stress due to COVID-19 pandemic, media report said.
Kids Help Phone, a national helpline for children and young adults, in operation for more than 30 years, has recently been deluged with calls and texts from grown-ups feeling overwhelmed, said Alisa Simon, senior vice-president of innovation at Kids Help Phone.
Kids Help Phone. Image credit: Twitter handle
Although there are helplines and distress services for adults in Canada, there's no single national line, so services tend to be "fragmented," Simon said.
Kids Help Phone was also dealing with a huge jump in COVID-19-related calls from children and young people.
In response, the organization launched a texting service specifically for adults and put out a call for volunteers.
After screening and training, those volunteers could provide desperately needed support from their homes in this time of physical distancing.
Simon said more than 8,000 applications have been received so far to fill those roles to serve both children and adults.
Ottawa, May 3 (Canadian-Media): Unreliability of made-in-Canada, rapid COVID-19 test created by Spartan Bioscience led Health Canada to bar their use by public, media reports said.
Image: Spartan. Image credit: twitter handle
After Health Canada learnt about the problems being faced by National Microbiology Lab tests being unreliable, it restricted its use for research purposes only until adequate evidence of clinical performance is provided.
Although these tests could deliver on-location results in under 60 minutes, and by further upgrade to 30 minutes, Health Canada was mainly concerned about the efficacy of the swabs the testing unit uses and not with the machine itself.
Last month the federal government had ordered 40,000 tests a month from Spartan, said Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer.
Health Canada, which has already shipped out 5,500 tests nationally for validation of provincial and federal governments, is voluntarily recalling the product to perform more clinical tests.