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Covid patients in ICUs are on the rise

TORONTO – 1,188 Covid hospitalizations in Ontario on Saturday, 977 today: a decrease that should not be deceiving, because on Sunday 10% of hospitals do not provide updates. But despite the incompleteness of the data, the number of patients in intensive care is still growing: +5 in 24 hours, with the total going to 173 (+ 4% compared to the previous week), of which 88 are breathing with the help of a fan. On a weekly basis, hospitalizations for (or with) Covid-19 increased by nearly 22%: seven days ago, there were 763 Covid patients in Ontario hospitals. 

15 deaths recorded today, bringing the total of victims of Covid, in Ontario, since the beginning of the pandemic, to 12,563.

On the contagion front, on the basis of the 16,816 tests carried out (limited to the “at risk” categories), 3,481 cases were detected: the positivity rate is 17.6%. The active and known cases in Ontario are now, officially, 31,180 but this number, due to the few tests carried out, is far from reality even according to provincial health officials who, based on the study of wastewater, have hypothesized that the Ontario is likely recording between 100,000 and 120,000 new cases a day, levels not seen in the province since the peak in January.

In its latest Evidence and Risk Assessment report, Public Health Ontario (PHO) states that BA.2 is now the dominant strain in the province, accounting for 54% of all cases (as of March 19) and points out that the increase in cases and hospitalizations corresponds to the revocation of masks’ mandate, which took place on 21 March. And the alarm raises for a possible increase in infections in both pediatric and adulthood.

“The current situation could impact the capacity of children’s hospitals and intensive care units and even lead to further disruptions to in-person learning in Ontario (i.e. schools)”. PHO therefore states that a “cautious and temporary approach, with the re-implementation of some public health measures, not only in schools but in the general public, could do a lot to mitigate the current trend of upward infections”. And it concludes by stating that the chances of a new variant emerging and drastically changing the course of the pandemic “continue to grow”.

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