The famous Whistler ski resort in Canada has suffered one of the worst outbreaks of the P1 variant of coronavirus outside of Brazil.
The authorities of the westernmost province of Canada, British Columbia, Whistler Blackcomb ski resort closed last month after the community spread of the P1 or Manaus variant increased, more contagious than the original strain of Covid-19 and linked to a traveler from Brazil.
On April 6, 2021, Whistler recorded 197 cases of the P1 variant of the coronavirus, almost a quarter of all cases of this strain detected in British Columbia, reported CTV, which has become the epicenter of the P1 variant in Canada, with 974 cases in total as of this Monday morning.
“We all felt it could happen to us,” said a maintenance worker at the resort to The Guardian. “People come from everywhere, that’s what makes this place what it is.”
The Whistler area has reported multiple outbreaks since the start of the pandemic. Part of the problem is that it can be difficult to isolate and limit close contact: many young people live in shared houses, while jobs, mainly in the service sector, mainly force young people to be in contact with others.
Vancouver Coastal Health, the public health authority, has “recorded three successive waves of Covid-19 in Whistler during the pandemic where the majority of confirmed cases were among adults 20 to 39 years of age”, as reported in a statement.
In the last two weeks of March, A “significant percentage” of Whistler’s young workforce has been vaccinated, and as of Monday, all Whistler residents are eligible for the vaccineit added in the statement.The P1 variant is more infectious than the parent strain and has the ability to re-infect those who have already recovered from the disease. The main concern, experts say, is that P1 could put the vaccine’s effectiveness at risk: at least two people who contracted the P1 strain in Whistler had previously been vaccinated, reported The Guardian. Early research even suggests that Out of 100 Covid-19 survivors, 25 to 61 could contract the virus again if exposed to the P1 strain.
This variant has 17 amino acid changes, ten of which are in its peak protein, including these three designated as of special concern: N501Y, E484K, and K417T. The variant was detected for the first time by the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) in Japan, on January 6, 2021 in four people who had arrived in Tokyo having visited the state of Amazonas in Brazil four days earlier.
The Vancouver Canucks, an NHL hockey team, have been off the ice for two weeks after reporting their own outbreak with P1. As of last Wednesday, 25 people associated with the team, 21 players and four staff members, had tested positive for Covid-19.
All players and staff went into quarantine after the first cases of Covid-19 were detected, and the matches are expected to be reinstated on Friday.
Variant P1 now travels east, which resulted in multiple outbreaks in the Alberta workplace, a province that is also suffering the third wave of the pandemic. So far, the province has registered 102 infections caused by P1.
Ontario, the most populous province in the country, has 134 cases of this variant.
Canada is in the midst of a third deadly pandemic wave that is only getting worse. The country was one of the first to detect the three most worrying variants (P1, as well as B117 and B1351) simultaneously, has exceeded the rate of new Covid-19 infections in the United States, and cannot vaccinate its population fast enough. to suppress the current rise of the virus.
Ontario reported a record 4,456 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday. On the same day, Canada reported 7,712 new cases in total. And as older people in Canada get vaccinated, younger Canadians are increasingly beginning to suffer the brunt of the pandemic.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.