Do Ya Feel Lucky? Do Ya? How About a Covid Lottery?
In Ontario they're considering setting up a lottery for those in need the Covid drug, tocilizumab, as stockpiles dwindle.
The Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table is asking the provincial government to prepare for the day hospitals run out of tocilizumab, an anti-inflammatory drug that physicians are already administering in smaller doses to make limited amounts go further.
Andrew Morris, an infectious disease physician and one of the co-authors of the new brief, said he and his colleagues hope a lottery won’t be necessary. “But hoping isn’t a plan,” Dr. Morris said. “In a thoughtful, methodical manner, you need to plan for the possibility of a shortage. This is a drug that is life-saving.”
The hard reality is that there is not enough of Tocil or other Covid drugs to meet demand. 'Better late than never Ottawa' has responded by setting up a critical drug reserve.
The federal government has purchased an initial three-month supply of 12 drugs. Tocilizumab is not on the new reserve list, but that could be because of how hard it is to accumulate a stockpile of tocilizumab among a worldwide spike in demand.
Once again we see how easy it is to fall behind in this pandemic and how much harder it is when you have to play catch up.
I came across a graph yesterday of Covid spread by states. No surprises there. Red State America has higher infection rates than the Blue States. While there are exceptions, including British Columbia, there does seem to be a correlation between rightwing governments and Covid infection rates.
India is fast becoming the world's Covid Petri dish. A week ago the country made the news as it reached a record 200,000 new infections per day. As of yesterday India was at 295,000. India's healthcare system has hit capacity. Now the country is dealing with a "double mutant" variant. The Times of India today reports that a "triple mutant" variant has emerged. While it is not thought that these variants are more lethal than Covid Classic, they are far more transmissible which is not a good thing for a country with 1.3 billion people, many of them living in close quarters.
With two million active cases already straining the country's healthcare system, its rightwing prime minister, Narendra Modi, on Tuesday said India should avoid imposing lockdowns. Modi told his countrymen that he's doing his goshdarn best to come up with oxygen, hospital beds and that sort of frivolity.
In Scandinavia, Sweden remains the Covid Bad Boy. From The Lancet:
As of April 16, 2021, more than 13 700 people have died from COVID-19 in Sweden. The country has one of the highest infection rates in western Europe according to Our World in Data COVID-19 statistics, with 606 new infections per million per day, while its neighbours Denmark, Finland, and Norway reported 115, 62, and 112 new infections per million per day, respectively (April 15, 2021). New and more infective and deadly variants have taken over, and by April 15, 2021, the UK SARS-Cov-2 variant was suspected to have caused 75–100% of all new cases in all regions. This indicates more rapid spread, more deaths, and that more young people will be affected, with intensive care units already at full capacity in some regions.
You heard that right. Some Swedish health districts are already overrun with overflow patients being transported to other regions. That sounds familiar, eh?