Mickey Djuric, The Canadian Press
REGINA — Hospitals across Canada are being taken over by a new wave of COVID-19 patients, a situation that is expected to continue for at least another month, according to public health experts.
The most recent data from the Public Health Agency of Canada shows that hospitalizations due to COVID-19 increased by approximately 18% across Canada between April 4 and April 11, from 5,109 patients to 6,020.
In recent weeks, Quebec, Nova Scotia and the Prairies have all seen an increase in hospitalizations due to the virus. Intensive care admissions are also up slightly in some provinces.
The latest available data show 2,220 hospitalizations in Quebec and 1,301 in Ontario, compared to 1,053 in Alberta, 403 in Saskatchewan, 158 in Manitoba and 59 in Nova Scotia.
The head of the department of emergency medicine in Calgary for Alberta Health Services, Dr. Eddy Lang, said his province is being swept up in its sixth wave since the start of the pandemic, this time due to the BA.2 subvariant. , but that this one is not as dramatic as the one powered by the Omicron variant.
“In terms of hospitalization capacity, the impact is not the same on our capacity for intensive care as during the (Delta variant) and we should be able to get away with it,” he said Monday.
He added that an analysis of sewage and data from the UK indicate that hospitalizations could start to level off in mid-May.
Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Saqib Shahab, also predicts an end to the new wave in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, he added, Canadians still have “homework to do” when it comes to vaccinations.
Earlier this month, Dr. Shahab said the bulk of vaccinations in Saskatchewan were due to unvaccinated or vulnerable people who had not received a booster dose.
This aligns with data from the Public Health Agency of Canada, which shows that as of March 27, people who have received three doses of the vaccine account for about 10% of hospitalizations across the country, compared to 61% for people who have not been vaccinated. . About 20% of hospitalized patients had received two doses.
“Full vaccination at any age and booster doses protect you from hospitalization,” said Dr. Shahab. COVID-19 is not going to go away eventually and most of us will be exposed to Omicron.”
Health Canada recalls that vaccinated people enjoy significant protection against the worst consequences of COVID-19, including hospitalizations and death.
The federal agency found in March that the unvaccinated were eight times more likely to end up in hospital and 11 times more likely to die than fully vaccinated people who had also received a booster dose.