Variants may have spread to two remote First Nations in Manitoba

METRO PLUS

How police, other security agencies foiled abduction of 4 Plateau varsity students

Nigerian Security Agencies have prevented the abduction of about four students of the Plateau State University in Bokkos Local Government Area of...

Father kills 18-year-old son in Kano over missing palm oil

A resident of the Gwazaye Quarter in the Kumbotso Local Government Area of Kano State, Awaisu Nagyala, has allegedly beaten his 18-year-old...

Security guard invites robbers to rob employer

The Ondo State Police Command has arrested a security guard working at the S.A. Filling Station in Ondo town, Abiodun Osuntimehin, for...

Three killed as robbers attack bank in Delta

Armed robbers on Tuesday reportedly killed three persons when they attacked a bank in the Issele-Uku, Aniocha North Local Governments Area of...

Kidnapping: Court laments delay in Evans trial

Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of an Ikeja Special Offences Court has expressed worries over the delay in the trial of Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, popularly...

Fears of the new COVID-19 variants are increasing after possible cases emerged in an unlikely place: two remote First Nations communities in Manitoba.

A variant form of COVID-19 has now been identified in 10 provinces, with just one case confirmed in Manitoba. But new information out of Pauingassi First Nation, 280 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg, raises more questions about how quickly and efficiently these variants can spread.

Seven probable cases of the B.1.1.7 variant have emerged in Pauingassi, a week after the military was brought in to help control a COVID-19 outbreak.

“How is it possible that the variant from international travel would be in a remote and isolated community?” Grand Chief Alren Dumas said.

The cases have yet to be confirmed in Winnipeg with genomic sequencing.

Meanwhile, hundreds of kilometres north in Pimicikamak Cree Nation — also known as Cross Lake First Nation — people are dealing with another large COVID-19 outbreak. More than 50 cases were identified this weekend, along with another possible case of B.1.1.7.

“They’re scared of this virus and especially if it’s a new variant, it’s going to create more fear,” Chief David Monias said.

Both communities are remote and both have been under lockdown for weeks, with only band members and essential workers allowed in — leaving leaders wondering how the variant could have arrived.

“So it’s the people coming in,” Grand Chief Garrison Settee, from Pimicikamak Cree Nation, said. “We need to look at that very seriously to prevent other cases from penetrating our First Nations.”

In Pimicikamak, they introduced new measures this past weekend, including banning all public gatherings. There are more than 100 active cases in the community, and officials are warning of super spreader events, revealing in an update yesterday that one case had 40 close contacts.

Indigenous people in Manitoba have already been hit hard by COVID-19, with deaths in First Nations communities accounting for 17 per cent of the province’s total COVID-19 deaths, 33 per cent of hospitalizations and 55 per cent of ICU admissions.

The variant adds a new danger, as it is more contagious and potentially more deadly, according to early data.

Experts say it is crucial to identify the virus and contain the spread.

In this, at least, the remoteness of these First Nations communities could help.

“There is [an] opportunity with quick action and adequate resources to contain this quickly so it doesn’t move from the community to multiple other communities,” Cynthia Carr an epidemiologist, told CTV News.

Monias told CTV News on Monday that he has asked for military support in Pimicikamak due to resources being stretched thin by the outbreak.

Source: CTV NEWS

Sign up to FREE email alerts from Tribunepoint Weekly - Daily News

When you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters. Sometimes they’ll include recommendations for other related newsletters or services we offer. Our Privacy Notice explains more about how we use your data, and your rights. You can unsubscribe at any time.

- Advertisement -

Read Also

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

Latest News

Children 12 and older now cleared to receive Pfizer vaccine: Health Canada

Health Canada says the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is now safe to give to children ages 12 and up. The...

When will children ages 12 and up be able to get vaccinated? A province-by-province look

Following Wednesday’s announcement that Health Canada has approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children ages 12 and up, provinces are now deciding how...

Canada may find it challenging to reach herd immunity from COVID-19, experts say

Herd immunity may not be reached in Canada but a return to life similar to that before COVID-19 is possible through immunization,...

‘We’re in a lot of trouble’: What’s happening in Alberta as it shatters multiple COVID-19 case records?

Alberta has become one of the hot spots for COVID-19 in Canada during this third wave of the pandemic.

Canada to receive 2M vaccine doses this week as Pfizer-BioNTech ramp up deliveries

Canada is set to begin receiving more than 2 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine each week as the two pharmaceutical firms...