Tuesday 13 April 2021
Most of the cases are from brazil
Canadian ski area becomes P.1 hotspot
From Hedwiga Nyrsik
A year ago, Ischgal’s ski resort in Austria became the epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic in Europe. Now North America has its own ischagal – but this time it is the more contagious and dangerous variant P.1 that is spreading from Canada’s ski area to the region.
The trend of coronavirus virus is increasing worldwide. Mutants now determine the infection process in several regions: B.1.1.7 is widespread in Europe, with variants B.1.351 spreading from South Africa. And mutant P.1 is spreading in Brazil – but not only there. Thousands of kilometers further north, a ski area in Canada is becoming a super spreader for P.1. Authorities had to close the Whistler Blackcomb ski resort in late March after the Brazilian version of the virus spread rapidly in the community.
Memories of Tyrol are awakened from a year ago in Tyrol, as the virus – as it did in a small ski area in the Austrian Alps – spreads quickly and is initially undetermined from Whistler Blackcomb in the province of British Columbia. With 877 confirmed P.1 cases, the region of southwestern Canada is now the center of the world’s largest outbreak outside Brazil. About a quarter of infections can be associated with a whistler.
Mutation P.1 is thought to be a highly contagious virus variant that appears to be more lethal in young people and apparently has the potential to re-infect those who have recovered. In Brazil, P.1, along with countless political failures, led to the collapse of the country’s health system. This version also spread to neighboring countries.
Failure by officials
How the mutants got to the Alpine Holiday Resort in Canada is a mystery to experts: none of the 84 people who were reported to have traveled outside Canada were recorded in Whistler at the start of the outbreak. Epidemiologist Jean Paul Sausi of the Kovid-19 Canada Open Data Working Group accused the authorities of failing to strictly follow the cases. British Columbia lagged behind other provinces, when it came to tracking the percentage of cases with variants, they told the Guardian.
In addition, the Canadian borders closed late. “It was just bad luck. But the fact that we started the increased quarantine measures along the border too late probably did not help either,” said Sauri. “If these measures were introduced months ago, the whole thing might have slowed down – or even avoided.”
Whistler’s infamous housing shortage also played a role in the rapid spread. Employees of the youth department in particular have been infected with P.1. One employee told the newspaper, “Because rents are so high, people live in closets and sometimes eight people share an apartment.” She herself shares an apartment with three other flatmates.
When she got sick, she tried to isolate herself in her bedroom, she said. Nevertheless, all of his roommates had become infected – including those who had already received vaccinations with AstraZeneca. “Most of us cannot do our work from home. We still have to work in support of the people,” the young woman said. “It’s really difficult to isolate the virus when most people are living with eight other people.”
“You do not want to be blind”
However, the British Columbia Health Authority does not want to increase the sequencing for virus variants. “We just believe that there are positive test variants. Anyone who tests positive for Kovid-19 should be treated as if they had one of these highly contagious viruses,” Bonnie Henry, who gave provincial health officials Told reporters before. Instead, the province wants to follow the chains of infection more closely and, above all, investigate cases in which vaccination protection has failed.
However, experts criticize this approach. They say that sequencing gives an important insight into how a variant is spreading. “I’m afraid that if you stop sequestering many of these cases, we’ll miss important information,” said epidemiologist Eric Fegal-Ding. He referred to the sequencing work done by the UK and Danish health authorities at the end of last year. He found that according to Figl-Ding, the affairs of their countries had declined overall. But B.1.1.7 variants have increased significantly at the same time.
“If they had not done the sequencing, they would have had the misinterpretation of success that the epidemic would be over,” the scientist said. This is what he feared for Canada. “When you have a more contagious variety that is fueling the epidemic, you don’t want to be blind.”
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