Canada reported an additional 6,346 new infections of the novel coronavirus Saturday as several provinces broke new case and fatality records amid the second wave of the pandemic.
The new data, which includes another 93 fatalities from the virus, pushes the country’s total cases to 408,569 and its death toll to 12,589. A total of 324,800 patients have since recovered while over 15,283,000 tests have been administered.
Saturday’s numbers provide a limited snapshot of the virus in Canada. Provinces like P.E.I. and British Columbia as well as both the Yukon and Northwest Territories do not report new case data over the weekend.
As the number of COVID-19 cases surges, hospitalizations and deaths also continue to grip communities across the country.
The nation’s top doctor said that Canada still has a “long road ahead” in its fight against the virus, despite plans to roll-out a vaccine in the new year.
“All along the way Canadians have made sacrifices and despite a still long road ahead, there is some good news on the horizon,” Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, wrote in a statement Saturday.
“An initial supply of vaccines is expected to become available in early 2021 and although supply will be limited at the outset, Canada is well-positioned to provide access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines for all Canadians.”
Tam, who noted the logistical and operational challenges of distributing the vaccine, also reiterated that “any and all” vaccines approved by Health Canada would meet the highest standards of safety and effectiveness.
According to the latest epidemiological data, a daily average of 6,168 new cases were diagnosed every day from Nov. 27 to Dec. 3, with 7.4 per cent of 74,596 daily tests turning out to be positive. A daily average of 87 virus-related deaths were also being reported during the same period.
“The latest longer-range forecasting, using a model from Simon Fraser University, forecasts that if we continue on the current trajectory, we could have 10,000 cases daily by January,” warned Tam, who also noted the burdening impact of the virus’ spread on both the country’s high-risk population as well as its health-care workforce.
Quebec added more than 2,000 new cases of the virus for the first time Saturday, with health officials reporting 2,031 confirmed infections in their latest update. The province also announced 48 more deaths attributed to the virus — of which only 11 occurred in the past 24 hours.
Health officials in the province said that the high case count was inflated, however, because a number of cases identified the day before that were not reported in Friday’s case count. To date, the province’s total cases stand at 149,908 and its death toll at 7,231.
Both Ontario and Alberta posted record-high case counts Saturday as well.
In Alberta, provincial authorities added 1,879 new cases. The data, which included another six deaths, pushed the province’s total caseload to 66,730.
Ontario, on the other hand, reported 1,859 more cases — raising its total infections to 125,385. The new cases mark the single highest increase in new COVID-19 infections since the 1,855 reported on Nov. 27. Another 20 deaths were also added by the province, pushing Ontario’s death toll to 3,757.
Manitoba also set a new record Saturday, as authorities confirmed 19 additional deaths due to the virus. The province’s death toll now stands at 381 and its caseload at 18,423 after Saturday’s announcement. Saskatchewan added 203 new cases and no new deaths on Saturday.
In Atlantic Canada, New Brunswick added two more cases, Nova Scotia six and Newfoundland and Labrador another four. Nunavut, which lifted it’s COVID-19 lockdown everywhere except for its hotspot Arviat this week, posted eight more cases on Saturday.
Globally, cases of the novel coronavirus continue to spread, with over 66,442,000 infections being reported so far according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University. A total of 1,526,000 deaths have also been attributed to the virus, with the United States, Brazil and India continuing to lead in both infections and deaths.
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