By Jaxon McGinn
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Sunny South News
Alberta opted not to introduce new restrictions to curb the Omicron wave of COVID-19 on Tuesday Jan. 4, although active case counts leaped to a record high of more than 34,000.
Premier Jason Kenney said the number of Albertans infected with the virus is “actually much higher” than the reported count due to limited PCR testing.
During Alberta’s press conference on Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2021, the Alberta government had released the first COVID-19 stats for 2022. To date, the province has recorded over 30,000 active cases and a test positivity rate of 30 per cent. Kenney says hospitalization rates are expected to rise and calls on the federal government to act.
“I’m calling on the government of Canada by immediate action to authorize the use of Pfizer COVID antiviral pill,” said Kenney.
Kenney added COVID cases are continuing to rise in Alberta. The pill could help the province with the latest wave of the virus.
Kenney stated Paxlovid “was recently approved for emergency use in Europe, the United States, and other jurisdictions.”
“This drug can be used for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in anyone that’s 12 years of age and over who’s at a high risk of serious situations like hospitalization,” Kenney added.
Last week, Israel received its first shipment of pills that treat the worst effects of COVID-19.
It’s among some of the first countries to receive Pfizer’s Paxlovid, a pill that can be taken at home to ward off the most severe symptoms of the novel coronavirus. All the previously authorized drugs require an IV or injection.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said the shipment would help Israel to “successfully overcome the peak of the approaching omicron wave.”
Kenney hopes the federal government approves the drug as “it could help save lives.”
For further information, you can visit the Alberta website at alberta.ca.