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Canadian province to start differentiating between coronavirus patients and Covid-19 positive patients admitted for other reasons

The Canadian province of Ontario has acknowledged that many of the people reportedly hospitalized with Covid-19 were in fact admitted due to other health concerns and were found to be accidentally infected with the virus.

Of the 3,220 people hospitalized with Covid-19 in the province, 54% were admitted because of the virus, Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott said on Tuesday. The remaining 46% were in hospitals for medical treatment unrelated to the pandemic, but they tested positive for the virus.

Elliott said that starting Wednesday, hospitalization data will be disaggregated to show cases incidental to admission, such as asymptomatic infections. “While this does not change the dire situation in Ontario hospitals, it is important to share this data to provide additional context on the state of the pandemic. “

The announcement comes as the Omicron variant of Covid-19 has caused an upsurge in infections around the world, including in Ontario. Numerous studies have shown that the variant is easier to diffuse than previous strains, although it may be milder than its predecessors. The hospitalization figures which group together incidental cases without any delineation of cause do not seem to take this distinction into account.

Of Ontario’s intensive care patients with Covid-19, about 17% are fortuitous, Elliott said. More than 70% of patients have been fully vaccinated against the virus before being hospitalized. Another 5.4% had received a vaccine, while the remaining 24% had not been vaccinated. Almost 45% of Covid-19 patients in intensive care units were not bitten. More than 88% of Ontario residents are fully immunized against the virus.

Patients admitted to hospitals are typically tested for Covid-19 as part of routine screenings. While some experts have suggested that the variant could help end the pandemic by increasing levels of natural immunity, Covid-19 infections, whether symptomatic or not, put a strain on health systems, because hospitals must use isolation measures to prevent the spread of the virus to other people.

Earlier this month, New York Governor Kathy Hochul asked hospitals in her state to start breaking down their Covid-19 data to show incident cases. NYU Langone Health told the New York Times that about 65% of its Covid-19 patients were found to be infected after being admitted for other reasons.

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