New Covid-19 cases continue to surge in Canada

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks to the media about Canadian measures to counter the COVID-19 virus in Ottawa, Monday March 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Ottawa, Nov 17 Amid an ongoing second wave of the coronavirus pandemic in Canada, new confirmed Covid-19 cases have continued to increase all across the country.

Canada reported a total of 295,074 cases and 10,947 deaths as of Sunday afternoon, Xinhua news agency reported.

Ontario reported 1,248 new cases and 29 deaths on Sunday, a day after the province saw record 1,581 new cases.

Quebec announced 1,211 new cases and 15 deaths on Sunday after Saturday’s record-high of 1,448 new cases.

Manitoba confirmed a record increase of 494 new cases and 10 deaths on Sunday while Saskatchewan recorded 181 new cases and two more deaths.

Alberta broke its single-day record of Covid-19 cases on Saturday as the province reported 1,026 new cases.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam on Sunday cautioned Canadians against “letting our guard down” in the fight against the pandemic as holiday season approaches and colder weather drives people indoors.

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“In these more relaxed settings, such as family and holiday celebrations and recreational activities, letting our guard down and not consistently maintaining public health practices can lead to many exposures and infections,” she said in a statement.

Tam said hospitals are already being forced to make the difficult decision to cancel certain elective surgeries and procedures, and the number of people with severe conditions continue to rise, with a daily average of more than 1,400 people being treated in hospitals over the past week.

Canada reported 3,041 new cases of Covid-19 Saturday noon, bringing the total up to 2,90,596 cases, including 10,888 deaths, according to media reports.

Ontario reported 1,581 new cases on Saturday, marking another new record in daily-reported infections in the province. It is also the ninth day in a row that Ontario has seen case counts over 1,000, the Xinhua news agency reported.

Ontario also added 20 deaths, which is the highest single-day death toll reported since the start of the pandemic’s second wave in late September.

Ontario’s seven-day average for the number of cases has continued to climb and is now 1,419.

The total number of lab-confirmed Covid-19 cases in Ontario stands at 92,761, including 3,332 deaths and 77,241 recoveries.

Quebec announced 1,448 new cases of Covid-19 on Saturday, a record-breaking single-day increase. The total number of cases in the province since the start of the pandemic rose to 1,22,643.

Quebec maintains the highest number of cases per capita out of all provinces in Canada, with 1,436 positive cases for every 1,00,000 people.

In Canada overall, there are 854 confirmed cases per 1,00,000.

In one of a series of tweets posted Saturday, Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, urged Canadians taking part in Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas festivities, important to many in South Asian communities, to celebrate safely as Canada fights a rising number of Covid-19 cases.

Tam noted these traditions typically include large gatherings. “This year, I encourage Canadians to celebrate this holiday differently – to be creative and celebrate safely,” suggesting virtual celebrations and gatherings in “large open spaces.”

On Friday, Tam said Canada’s continued spike in Covid-19 cases is “very worrisome” and that a major driver in the increase is informal and social gatherings and activities, both inside and outside homes.

Tam said the latest national modelling suggests Canada is on track to record 10,000 new cases a day by early December, “if we continue on the current pace.”

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