5 P.1 variant cases detected in Sask.
REGINA -- The first cases of the P.1 variant, initially detected in Brazil, have been identified in Saskatchewan.
The Government of Saskatchewan reported it confirmed five P.1 cases in the province on Tuesday.
Dr. Saqib Shahab, the province's Chief Medical Health Officer, said the five cases are located in the southwest zone. He added that this cluster of cases is not currently linked to any mass transmission events.
"The P.1. variant, we are learning about possibly more transmissibility, we are still learning about is it more severe or not, and we are still learning about how effective the vaccine is," Dr. Shahab said.
"This is the first time we have identified it and public health is investigating all contacts."
As of Tuesday afternoon, 2,302 P.1. cases have been identified in Canada, with the majority located in British Columbia. It has also been detected in Ontario, Alberta, Quebec, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and the Yukon.
Due to its appearance across Canada, Dr. Shahab said it was inevitable the P.1. would eventually be identified in Saskatchewan.
"This is going to be something we'll have to watch closely, especially until such time that we have high vaccination rates and our COVID case numbers come to very low levels," Dr. Shahab said.
Dr. Shahab encouraged Saskatchewan residents to continue following the Public Health Orders, to delay the introduction of future variants and lower current cases, no matter the strain.
The province also extended all COVID-19 Public Health Orders to May 10.
VARIANTS OF CONCERN
There were 194 new variants of concern detected in Saskatchewan on Tuesday. A total of 5,027 variants of concern have been identified.
The variants were detected in the Far North West (35), Far North East (two), North West (89), North Central (64), North East (six), Saskatoon (497), Central West (71), Central East (185), Regina (2,990), South West (118), South Central (404) and South East (500) zones.
New lineage results were determined for 142 cases. Of the 2,060 variants of concern with lineage identified by genome sequencing, 2,046 are B.1.1.7, nine are B.1.351 and five are P.1.
249 NEW CASES, 236 RECOVERIES
The Government of Saskatchewan reported 249 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday.
The new cases are located in the Far North West (two), Far North East (two), North West (19), North Central (17), North East (one), Saskatoon (55), Central West (six), Central East (13), Regina (102), South West (seven), South Central (seven) and South East (16) zones.
The province also confirmed 236 new recoveries. As a result, there are now 2,640 active COVID-19 cases in Saskatchewan.
There are currently 195 people in hospital related to COVID-19 in Saskatchewan, including 51 in intensive care. This sets a new daily record for COVID-patients in ICU.
The seven-day average of daily new cases in Saskatchewan 247, or 20.2 new cases per day.
There were 3,243 COVID-19 tests processed in Saskatchewan on Monday.
An additional 5,278 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Saskatchewan. There have been 357,447 total doses given.
The new doses were administered in the Far North West (29), Far North Central (two), Far North East (56), North West (154), North Central (540), North East (86), Saskatoon (2,503), Central West (166), Central East (392), Regina (657), South West (32), South Central (262) and South East (256).