Manitoba reports 1st death linked to P1 variant, 476 new COVID-19 cases

There are 476 new COVID-19 cases in Manitoba on Saturday and six more people have died from the illness, the province said in a news release.

That includes what appears to be the first person in the province to die after contracting the P1 coronavirus variant associated with Brazil: a woman in her 70s from the Winnipeg health region.

Four of the other deaths reported Saturday are also linked to more contagious variants, the release said.

They include a man in his 50s from the Southern Health region, as well as a woman in her 30s and a man in his 70s from the Winnipeg health region who had contracted the B117 strain first identified in the U.K.

A man in his 60s from the Winnipeg health region, whose case was linked to a variant that has not yet been specified, has also died, the province says.

The death of a man in his 70s from the Winnipeg health region who contracted COVID-19 was also reported on Saturday.

A total of 1,028 people in Manitoba have now died after contracting COVID-19.

Roughly three-quarters of the new cases are in the Winnipeg health region, which reported 360 infections. The area also announced a five-day test positivity rate of 16.8 per cent, up from 16.1 on Friday.

Across the province, that rate rose to 14.3 per cent from 14.1.

The rest of the new cases are split between the Southern Health region (which posted 44), the Northern Health Region (26), the Interlake-Eastern health region (24) and the Prairie Mountain Health region (22).

Manitoba also reported 527 more cases have been identified as stemming from coronavirus variants. Those strains now make up 2,965 — or nearly 60 per cent — of the province’s 4,984 active cases, Manitoba’s online variant dashboard says.

There are now 298 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in the province, up by two since Friday. Seventy-four of those people are in intensive care units across Manitoba, down by five since Friday.

However, Manitoba sent five intensive care patients to hospitals in northern Ontario this week — and the province has said those people won’t be included in hospitalization totals.

Manitoba has now identified 47,977 COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic last year, including 41,965 people deemed recovered.

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