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Leaked document estimates up to 15,000 deaths from COVID-19 in Saskatchewan

The province announced an additional eight cases Tuesday bringing the provincial total to 72.

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A leaked Saskatchewan Health Authority document modeled on a ‘worst case scenario’, predicted between 9,000 and 15,000 deaths from COVID-19 in the province, according to media sources.

The province only has 109 intensive care beds province-wide but the document claims that in the worst situation, over 15,000 would be hospitalized and require access to an intensive care unit.

The March 19 document is a guide for policy and takes into account the current resources and potential needs during the COVID pandemic.

Saskatchewan had 66 cases as of March 23, most of whom have been able to recover at home, according to regular updates from the government.

“Early social distancing will delay and lessen the peak of the outbreak,” the document reads.

“However, even under conservative assumptions, COVID-19 will almost certainly overwhelm the health system.”

Those conservative estimates are that 30 per cent of the population (300,000) will contract the virus, 80 per cent (240,000) of whom would most likely have milder cases and can recover at home.

“Fifeteen per cent require hospitalization (45,000); five per cent require ICU (15,000): fatality rate 3-5 per cent (9,000 to 15,000).”

The Mission Statement on the continuity of health services and surge capacity states:

“SHA (Saskatchewan Health Services) will adapt and expand to meet the projected COVID-19 patient demand while continuing to deliver acute services to non-pandemic patients throughout the duration of the pandemic in order to minimize the loss of life.”

The province announced an additional eight cases Tuesday bringing the provincial total to 72.

A request for comment from the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health was not returned by publication time.

UPDATE: The Saskatchewan Health Authority released the following statement after the document was made public:

“Based on what we know from other jurisdictions, it is critical we act immediately to expand acute care capacity to mitigate the impact of COVID-19,” SHA CEO Scott Livingstone said in a release after the leaked document was made public.

“Demand will exceed capacity.  All jurisdictions are facing this challenge.  We are not alone.  We are acting immediately to ensure Saskatchewan residents get the care they need from the right provider, at the right time, with the right supports in place.”

The release stated that SHA has “already initiated measures to ensure this demand is met through:

  • Creation of dedicated spaces to cohort COVID-19 patients within facilities.
  • Creation of COVID-19 designated hospitals in Saskatoon and Regina and other areas of the province, where required.
  • Creation of additional community based acute care capacity where required (e.g. field hospitals in school gyms, community centres, rinks, etc.).

“This plan will ensure we are prepared,” Livingstone said. 

“But it won’t be enough; it has been proven over and over with this virus that no health system in the world can address this challenge alone without the sustained help of the general public.”

“Actions that people and communities must take to address this challenge include:

• Practicing good hygiene, washing hands regularly and practicing social distancing (two meters apart wherever possible);
• Abide by provincial and local travel, self-isolation, event and gathering restrictions;
• Use medical supplies effectively and efficiently so that they are there when needed;
• Avoid visiting our hospitals and long-term care facilities unless there are compassionate reasons for doing so. “

Deirdre Mitchell-MacLean is a Senior Reporter with Western Standard
dmaclean@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter @Mitchell_AB

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Hundreds of Albertans protest in front of UCP MLA offices over COVID restrictions

So just a few hours after Kenney brought in the new restrictions on Wednesday, ready they were – and about a dozen MLA offices were picketed.

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He knew they couldn’t stop the government from bringing in even more COVID-19 restrictions, but Jordon Kosik wanted to be ready to show his displeasure.

Operating two Facebook groups, Holding MLAs Accountable and Closed for Fall, Kosik had his 17,000 members ready to protest just hours after Premier Jason Kenney brought in a fourth COVID-19 lockdown, which this time includes vaccination passports.

“A couple of weeks ago, we knew something was happening,” Kosik said in a Thursday interview with the Western Standard.

Protest in front of Nathan Cooper’s office. Photo courtesy Holding MLAs Accountable

“There was nothing we could do to stop it, but what we could do is get ready.”

So just a few hours after Kenney brought in the new restrictions on Wednesday, ready they were – and about a dozen MLA offices were picketed.

Some had a handful of people show up, while others had scores of people.

“This was on organic protest, people in their own ridings,” said Kosik.

And Kovik thinks this won’t be the end of restrictions, with more likely in a couple of weeks.

“To get ready for that we have to network, network, network,” Koik said.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Vancouver gangster killed in daylight shooting

Several news sources said the homicide victim was well-known in Vancouver’s illicit drug trade.

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Vancouver cops are on the hunt for an armed killer after a gangster was slain Wednesday during a daylight shooting in Vancouver’s core area.

Amandeep Manj, 35, a known member of the United Nations gang, was shot about 3:30 p.m while sitting inside his car in the parking lot of the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel near Canada Place.

Soon after he bloodied body was discovered, paramedics raced to the lot, but Manj was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said they’re convinced the shooting was a targeted hit.

Several news sources said the homicide victim was well-known in Vancouver’s illicit drug trade.

Manj’s brother, Jodh Manj, also died a violent death three years ago when he was killed while leaving a Mexico City gym.

Vancouver Police Const. Tania Visintin told the Vancouver Sun Manj is the city’s 13th homicide of 2021.

She told the paper officers responded to level three of the parkade near Cordova and Burrard streets “after a man was found unresponsive by a witness.” 

Police have made no arrests in the case, and ask anyone who may have information about the shooting to contact Vancouver police.

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COVID vaccines changing their names

The FDA approved new names in the US earlier this summer.

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What’s in a name? Plenty, apparently, when it comes to COVID-19 vaccines in Canada.

Health Canada announced Thursday it will accept the change in new brand names of the three most common vaccines Pfizer, Moderna and Oxford-AstraZeneca.

The Moderna vaccine will go by SpikeVax and the AstraZeneca vaccine will be named Vaxzevria.

The Pfizer vaccine will now be called Comirnaty, which the company said represents a combination of the terms COVID-19, mRNA, community, and immunity.

CBC said the vaccines didn’t go by their brand name initially, but now that new and more long-term data has been submitted and approved they will go by their permanent name.

Canada is still expected to receive vials labelled Pfizer-BioNTech for the next several months.

The FDA approved new names in the US earlier this summer.

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