Happy Long Weekend to all!
Canadians who arrived on Friday, Feb 7th on the two flights from Wuhan have 6 days left out of their 14 days of quarantine at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Trenton. Those who arrived Feb 11th on the third flight from Wuhan, have 10 days left of their 14 day quarantine at CFB in Trenton. So far all continues well with everyone.
Please see here the COVID-19 situational report #22 dated Feb. 15, 2020, received from the Ministry of Health’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC). The number of confirmed cases reported to us today by the EOC, in Canada, is seven + one new presumptive case of COVID-19 in British Columbia. All are recovering at home in self-isolation. In Ontario, at this time, there are 13 persons under investigation with lab results pending.
We hear that supplies continue to disappear and that is a risk to all, should we need them. Please continue to remind colleagues that personal protective equipment (PPE) are to be used only when there is a need, as per the EOC guidelines. Health care providers facing immediate supply needs regarding PPE can email the ministry at EOCLogistics.MOH@ontario.ca.
A reminder to all to be up-to-date on EOC information: http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/pro/programs/publichealth/coronavirus/2019_guidance.aspx.
Situation Report 26 from the WHO updates that worldwide, there are 50,580 laboratory-confirmed (1527 new) cases of COVID-19 and 1526 deaths (122 new), mainly in China. (These are laboratory-confirmed cases; you may have seen larger numbers reported elsewhere since Hubei province has changed their reporting criteria for cases, resulting in a large spike in case count numbers for China according to the new definition). Egypt reported its first confirmed case of COVID-19. This is the first reported case from the African continent. For those requiring advanced technical information, the WHO has a website with technical guidance.
WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, described today aspects of the COVID-19 outbreak situation that WHO finds encouraging, and areas of concern. It is encouraging that the steps China has taken to contain the outbreak at its source appear to have bought the world time, even though those steps have come at greater cost to China itself. On the other side, the continued increase in the number of cases in China is a concern, as well as the reports about the number of health workers who have been infected or have died. Yesterday’s WHO report indicated that in China, health care workers accounted for 1716 confirmed cases of COVID-19 including six deaths.
RNAO policy corner: How can we lower the chance of future outbreaks of coronavirus? One of the links scientists are studying is climate change, reinforcing the demand to tackle climate change as a public health imperative. Infectious outbreaks, like the novel coronavirus, could become more common as climate change and habitat destruction forces animals and humans to live in closer proximity. Bats have reportedly transmitted both the SARS illness and COVID-19 to humans.
We are here to hear from you and your teams should you be experiencing any challenges – please send your emails directly to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also access the health provider hotline and website regarding questions about the outbreak, protocols, preparedness, and more. The toll free number is 1-866-212-2272, and the health provider website, updated regularly with useful resources, can be accessed here. An important reminder that the health provider website and the toll free number are for you – as a health professional – and not for members of the general public.
The ministry’s public website on the COVID-19 exists to inform the general public – encourage your family and friends to access this public website. We also have information for the public on our website at www.rnao.ca which we update daily. The WHO has provided an excellent link for you to share with members of the public here.
THANKS to all our health professionals in Ontario – especially the ones working at CFB Trenton, to those working in the cruise ships, and the over 13 million healthcare workers in China who are dedicating their expertise and compassion to the people in China – please know you inspire us!
Doris Grinspun, RN,MSN, PhD, LLD(hon), Dr(hc), FAAN, O.ONT
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