Canada coronavirus cases surge past 160,000 as deaths top 9,300

Canada hit new milestones in the novel coronavirus pandemic Thursday, as cases surged past 160,000 while the death toll topped 9,300.

The country reported 1,776 new COVID-19 infections over the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 160,368 lab-confirmed cases to date.

Twenty-three new deaths were also announced, taking the national death toll to 9,320. While that’s the highest number reported in a single day since early July, 14 of those deaths occurred last week or earlier.

Read more: How many Canadians have the new coronavirus? Total number of confirmed cases by region

A total of 136,350 patients have since recovered from the virus. Health officials reported 1,379 of those recoveries Thursday.

Cases are now surging at a rate not seen since the first peak of the pandemic this past spring. Daily cases have increased at a rate of 85 per cent over the past 14 days.

It only took six days for cases to increase from 150,000 to 160,000. By comparison, it took eight days to grow from 140,000 to 150,000, while 14 days separate 130,000 and 140,000 total cases.

Quebec has already re-imposed lockdown measures in some regions, including in Montreal and Quebec City, which became “red zones” as of midnight Thursday. Ontario is also mulling similar moves, with Premier Doug Ford saying Wednesday that “everything’s on the table.”

The two provinces continue to lead the country in new infections and deaths.

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Stress and toll of living through a pandemic

Quebec reported 933 new cases Thursday, nearly matching its peak of over 1,000 daily cases in early May. Sixteen deaths were also announced, two of which occurred over the past 24 hours. The rest are historical deaths that occurred last week and earlier.

The province has now seen a total of 75,221 cases and 5,850 deaths, while 63,144 patients have recovered.

Ontario saw another 538 cases and three new deaths, bringing its totals to 52,248 infections and 2,851 deaths to date. Over 44,400 people have recovered from the virus.

Read more: Millions of coronavirus rapid tests won’t arrive for months: Health Canada

In Manitoba, 36 new infections brought the province to 2,029 total cases, an unknown number of which are considered probable. The province has seen 20 deaths from the virus and 1,388 recoveries.

Saskatchewan reported 14 more cases and no new deaths. A total of 1,927 cases and 24 deaths have been confirmed to date, with 1,759 of those cases considered recovered.

Further west, 173 new cases and three more deaths were reported in Alberta, which has now seen a total of 18,235 cases and 270 deaths. More than 16,300 patients have recovered from the virus.

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Are rapid tests a game changer in the fight against COVID-19?

British Columbia announced 82 new cases, one of which is “epidemiologically linked,” meaning it has not been confirmed by laboratory testing. One new death brought the provincial death toll to 235.

The province has seen 9,053 lab-confirmed cases and 167 “epi-linked” cases to date, 7,695 of whom have recovered from the virus.

Newfoundland and Labrador saw one new case, bringing its total number of cases to 275. Three people have died in the province to date, although 269 others have recovered.

No cases were reported in the other three Atlantic provinces or the three northern territories.

Read more: Retroactive CERB will still be available despite questions over rules: official

Nova Scotia has reported 1,088 cases, 65 deaths and 1,021 recoveries to date, while New Brunswick has seen 200 cases, two deaths and 192 recoveries.

Prince Edward Island has seen 59 cases and 57 recoveries, with no deaths to date.

All of the Yukon’s 15 cases and the five cases in the Northwest Territories have long since recovered.

While Nunavut has no local confirmed cases, three confirmed cases and seven presumptive cases — all mine workers from outside the territory — have been reported.

Click to play video 'Questions about reliability of Canada’s newly approved rapid COVID-19 test' 2:28 Questions about reliability of Canada’s newly approved rapid COVID-19 test

Questions about reliability of Canada’s newly approved rapid COVID-19 test

While over 8.8 million tests have been performed across Canada to date, the federal government has been under pressure to expand and speed up testing as the fall and winter fast approach.

Although up to 7.9 million Health Canada-approved rapid tests were ordered this week, the agency’s chief medical adviser Dr. Supriya Sharma told Global News Thursday that nearly a third of those tests won’t be available until 2021.

Hundreds of thousands of the tests should arrive in Canada this month, she said.

Worldwide cases exceed 34 million

Globally, confirmed coronavirus infections crossed 34 million Thursday, reaching 34,136,078 by 8 p.m. ET according to Johns Hopkins University. Over 1.01 million people have died.

The United States continues to lead the world in both infections, at over 7.2 million, and deaths, which have exceeded 207,000.

Read more: Canada has approved another rapid coronavirus test. Here’s how it could help

India and Brazil round out the top three hardest hit countries, with over 11 million cases and 240,000 deaths between them.

Nearly 190 countries have seen at least one case of COVID-19 since December, when the disease was first detected in Wuhan, China.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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