Canada

Ontario reports 326 cases as province plans to end 30-day limit on prescriptions

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A 30-day limit on prescriptions was brought in by the Ontario government in the early days of the pandemic in an effort to prevent drug shortages. (Katherine Holland/CBC)

Ontario has reported 326 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday morning, bringing the provincial total to 27,859.

A total of 17,014 tests were processed on Saturday, exceeding the current daily target of 16,000 for a fourth straight day. The system has the capacity to handle more than 25,000 on any given day.

A total of 781 people are in hospital with the novel coronavirus, with 118 patients in intensive care units and 90 on ventilators.

According to the province, there have been 2,266 COVID-19-related deaths, an increase of 19 deaths from the last report.

A total of 21,810 people have recovered from the virus.

Province to scrap 30-day limit on prescriptions July 1

Meanwhile, Ontarians who rely on prescription medication will hopefully see an onerous COVID-19 precaution lifted by the end of June, as the province starts to ease restrictions.

A 30-day limit on prescriptions was brought in by the Ontario government in the early days of the pandemic in an effort to prevent drug shortages. Spokespeople for Ontario’s seniors community and the province’s pharmacy industry say they expect the limitation will be lifted within the month, returning to the usual 90-day maximum by July 1.

“It’s been a difficult policy,” said Justin Bates, the chief executive officer of the Ontario Pharmacists Association. “We stand by the policy, we think it was the right thing to do, but I think everybody’s hopeful that we can get back to 90 days and to a normal cycle of quantity.”

Bates said that before the pandemic even began there were supply chain issues for pharmacists, with the manufacturers of key ingredients in China and India unable to produce necessary quantities.

That shortage was exacerbated in the early stages of the novel coronavirus pandemic, with hospitals filling more orders and individuals trying to stock up, just as there were runs on other essential items such as toilet paper.

As a result, several provinces imposed the 30-day limit, with Ontario’s the only one yet to return to the 90-day norm.

CBC News

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