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Covid-19, Sos for Alberta and Saskatchewan

REGINA – As already happened in Alberta, also in Saskatchewan the number of Covid-19 patients in the intensive care units has exceeded the normal intensive care capacity of the province. According to the province, in fact, on Tuesday there were 80 patients with the virus in intensive care, one more than the basic capacity which is 79. 

In September, the health authority of Saskatchewan had moved to increase the provincial intensive care capacity to 175 by adding emergency beds across the province, but so far only 58 emergency beds have been added bringing the ICU capacity to 137. As of Tuesday, 114 patients (Covid and non-Covid) are present in total ICU. If the beds were normal, i.e. 79, Covid patients alone would exceed the capacity of the ICU.

Meanwhile, another 271 infections were confirmed on Tuesday, with another 2 deaths. Since the start of the pandemic, Saskatchewan has recorded 72,730 cases, 67,527 recoveries and 753 deaths. The cases still active (known) are 4,450.

Thousands of cases continue to register in Alberta: on Tuesday, the province announced that 3,358 new cases and 33 deaths have been detected since Friday: 1,085 on Friday, 1,039 on Saturday, 628 on Sunday and 606 on Monday. The inhabitants of Alberta hospitalized are 1,053, of which 242 in intensive care. And “nearly 90% of ICU patients are not vaccinated,” said Prime Minister Jason Kenney.

“While it’s good news that Covid-19 admissions and ICU admissions appear to have stabilized, our numbers are still extremely high,” said Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr Deena Hinshaw. “They remain significantly higher than any other peak during the pandemic.”

The situation of the very young is particularly worrying. Thirteen Alberta schools have registered outbreaks and 451 are on high alert. Additionally, one of the reported deaths on Tuesday included a 14-year-old with previous illnesses.

At present (among those eligible, over 12 years old), 85.3% of Alberta residents have received a dose of the vaccine and 76% are fully vaccinated. Since the start of the pandemic, Alberta has recorded a total of 311,633 cases, 293,475 healings, 2,863 deaths. The active cases (known) are 15,295.

In the pic: no visitors allowed signage due to Covid-19 at Chinook Regional Hospital in Lethbridge, Alberta (photo by Graham Ruttan on Unsplash

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