Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Preventing COVID-19 variant spread in Canada

CBC News: The National shows that there are new important questions about how the federal government is trying to prevent the spread of Coronavirus COVID-19 variants in Canada. Also find out what it’s like to stay inside a so-called quarantine hotel.

Watch the interesting news video:

00:00​ The National
00:51​ Preventing COVID-19 variant spread in Canada
03:31​ New COVID-19 travel restrictions 
06:32​ Cancer patients want quarantine exemption
08:46​ Canada's COVID-19 vaccine supply 
09:12​ Vaccinating remote First Nations
11:05​ Ontario to expand COVID-19 testing in schools
11:36​ Companies join forces on rapid test program 
11:54​ New loan program for businesses
13:56​ Sask., P.E.I. end controversial birth alerts
16:19​ Global concern after Myanmar coup
18:51​ Rochester, N.Y. officers suspended
19:30​ Harris pledges to help free Spavor, Kovrig
20:44​ Winter storm hammers Northeastern U.S.
23:17​ Dustin Diamond dead of cancer at 44
23:49​ Tony Bennett has been living with Alzheimer's
24:57​ Inside a COVID-19 isolation hotel 
28:54​ Dr. David Saint-Jacques trains for a new mission
34:16​ Post-secondary education pandemic uncertainty
40:46​ Harriet Tubman’s church to get $100K renovation
43:39​ The Moment: Damini Awoyiga's words

Variant of Concern 202012/01 (abbreviated VOC-202012/01) is a variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. One of several variants believed to be of particular importance, it is estimated to be 30%-80% more transmissible than wild-type SARS-CoV-2 and was detected in November 2020 from a sample taken in September, during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom. It began to spread quickly by mid-December, and is correlated with a significant increase in SARS-CoV-2 infections in this certain country. This increase is thought to be at least partly because of one or more mutations in the virus's spike protein. The variant is also notable for having more mutations than usually normally seen.

As of January 2021, more than half of all genomic sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 was carried out in the UK. This has given rise to questions as to the variant's origins, and how many other novel variants may be circulating around the world.

As of late January 2021, most locations outside the original focus have not reported sustained transmission, and many cases have known travel links to the focal location. Increasing numbers of international cases is currently likely due to increased surveillance and vigilance.

On 2 February 2021, Public Health England said that they had detected "[a] limited number of B.1.1.7 VOC 202012/01 genomes with E484K mutations", which is also present in the South Africa and Brazil variants; this mutation may reduce certain vaccine effectiveness.

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