Sixth wave: Ontario relies on Paxlovid

Public Health Ontario unveiled new criteria on Monday to expand access to Paxlovid, a drug aimed at reducing symptoms caused by COVID-19.

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“It is clear that we are in the middle of the sixth wave of the pandemic due to the BA.2 variant,” said Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Kieran Moore, during his first press briefing in almost a month.

According to him, the increase in cases and hospitalizations observed in Ontario since the beginning of March should continue for another “several weeks”.

Consequently, as of next week, all adults who are immunosuppressed or have a chronic health problem, all seniors aged 70 and over and all seniors aged 60 and over who are inadequately vaccinated will be able to receive treatment with Paxlovid if they contract COVID- 19.

With this in mind, access to PCR tests has also been extended to these groups of Ontarians in order to be able to diagnose the virus.

Return of the mask?

Furthermore, Dr. Moore hopes that Ontarians will prefer prevention to cure.

“There are several measures we can take to limit the impacts of this wave, such as covering ourselves with protective measures that we have adopted so well over the past two years, even if they are not legally mandatory,” said he pointed out that Ontario has abandoned practically all its sanitary measures outside of care centers and residences for the elderly.

“It includes a strong recommendation to continue wearing a three-ply mask,” continued Dr. Moore, emphasizing the word “strong”.

Premier Doug Ford has so far closed the door to a return to mandatory mask-wearing in public places. But that could change if a new variant emerges, the chief medical officer hinted at his press briefing.

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