Canada: Coronavirus vaccine uptake discussed by expert
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A third coronavirus wave of infections is currently sweeping across the provinces of Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia. Epidemiologist and Health Economist Eric Feigl-Ding said the Brazil P1 variant of the virus has been spreading like “wildfire”. The Senior Fellow at the Federation of American Scientists in Washington DC, points out there is growing frustration in the country at the handling of the epidemic.
Canada has now passed one million coronavirus cases and infections have now sparked chaos in the National Hockey League (NHL).
In a thread on Twitter, Mr Feigl-Ding drew attention to the latest outbreak at the Vancouver Canucks ice hockey team.
Up to 20 players and staff are understood to have now tested positive for the virus, according to several reports.
Mr Feigl-Ding stated Canadians have responded “passionately” to the outbreak at the hockey team and has taken a thinly-veiled swipe at the Covid-19 messaging of the Canadian government.
The health expert added the issue of the virus may have now finally hit home, despite his previous warnings, because people connect with stories which they can relate to rather than coronavirus numbers and data.
Mr Feigl-Ding wrote on Twitter: “Why did Canadians respond so passionately to one @Canucks hockey outbreak, but ignored the #Covid19 & #P1 wildfire that we epidemiologists warned was already burning out of control?.
“Yes, hockey is big in Canada, but people also can’t empathise with big numbers & statistics.”
He added: “We have known this problem for a long time of course. People relate to stories of people, especially who they know, like the household names of like NHL hockey players.
“But numbers are just numbers. Numbers & data are cold and unemotional. And that doesn’t get people to act.
“But what does get people to act? Stories of individual/small scale groups suffering or experiencing a phenomenon.
“And that’s why stories like the Canucks hockey outbreak is so much resonating than more numbers of people dying or even photos of coffins. It’s sad but true.”
The Canadian province of Ontario entered a four-week partial lockdown from Saturday.
Modelling suggested the infection rate in Canada’s most populous province could have doubled to 6,000 new Covid-19 cases per day by late April, if no action was taken.
Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr Theresa Tam, recently announced a 64 percent increase in new cases involving coronavirus variants.
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Dr Kashif Pirzada, an emergency physician in Toronto, told CNN: “It’s getting pretty alarming here.
“It’s spreading quickly, and it’s much faster than the last two waves,
“The people filling the Intensive Care Unit right now are all in their 30s, 40s, and 50s.”
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