Event Medical Media Scan – April 2020/COVID-19 Edition

Foreword: We ended the month of February with just 76 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Canada. Fast forward to March 31, we had 8591 confirmed and presumptive cases across the country – a whopping 11204% increase in a span of a month.

As we look back on March,  and unlike the previous editions of the media scan – COVID-19 will be the only topic we focus on. We included a number of government directives, resources, journal articles and other clinical resource you may find useful.


[Health Canada] Optimizing the use of masks and respirators during the COVID-19 outbreak


[Health Canada] 3D printing and other unconventional manufacturing of personal protective equipment in response to COVID-19


Journal Articles

We have chosen articles from three well-respected peer-reviewed journals (The British Medical Journal, The Lancet and The New England Journal of Medicine) looking at different aspect of COVID-19. 

The BMJ conducted a retrospective analysis of patients who died from COVID-19 in China, and attempted to come up with clinical characteristics and laboratory findings relevant to the mortality of COVID-19 patients.

The Lancet reflects on how COVID-19 affected mass gatherings around the world, and what impact it has beyond health.

Finally, NEJM looked at the grim reality of the ethics in allocating medical resources in a public health crisis. Who gets to live? Who will sacrifice?

[The Lancet] Mass gathering events and reducing further global spread of COVID-19: a political and public health dilemma

“These cancellations have social and economic impacts on public morale, on national economies, and on individual livelihoods.”


[New England Journal of Medicine] Fair Allocation of Scarce Medical Resources in the Time of Covid-19

“Priority for limited resources should aim both at saving the most lives and at maximizing improvements in individuals’ post-treatment length of life. Saving more lives and more years of life is a consensus value across expert reports.”



We have included a number of resources – from drug trials underway, to symptom evaluation, mental health to preparing for the workplace and cyber-security realities of COVID-19. 

News Articles

The first article echoes the NEJM journal article on resource allocation at a time when the medical system is overburdened. 

The second and third news article details how Mexico is bucking the trend from other world countries – as they continue to allow mass gatherings to be held, and allowing cruise-ships to dock when no other countries are willing to allow port calls.  Mexico has so far only reported 1215 cases of COVID-19. Is the country heading into a dangerous territory, or do they know something we don’t?

[Inside Science] Ethical Anguish in a Time of COVID-19

“One way to ease the ethical problem for physicians is to use committees to make the decisions, taking the burden off individual doctors. In Italy, a set of rules newly formulated by the Italian College of Anesthesia, Analgesia, Resuscitation, and Intensive Care (SIAARTI) gives external support for the decision. Physicians can then follow the guidelines.”


[USA Today] Mexico holds off canceling mass gatherings amid coronavirus threat


[USA Today] Mexico will receive cruise ships amid coronavirus pandemic, but will ‘individually fumigate’ passengers


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