Canada’s coronavirus death toll hits grim milestone of 20K

Canada marked a grim milestone as the country’s coronavirus death toll pushed past 20,000 on Sunday.

Following Quebec’s announcement of 31 deaths on Sunday, a total of 20,016 people have died from the virus in Canada.

By 11:20 a.m. ET there were 778,123 confirmed cases of the virus in Canada. Another 3,701 cases have been reported on Sunday so far, with the majority — 1,848 cases — coming from Ontario.

Read more: Canada’s new travel restrictions a ‘nail in the coffin’ for airlines, tourism: experts

So far, health authorities have administered 952,296 COVID-19 vaccine doses while more than 22 million tests have also been administered across the country.

Sunday’s fatalities come on the same day the federal government’s new travel restrictions go into effect.

Click to play video 'Canadians scramble for flights home ahead of new COVID-19 travel restrictions' 2:28 Canadians scramble for flights home ahead of new COVID-19 travel restrictions

Canadians scramble for flights home ahead of new COVID-19 travel restrictions

On Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Air Canada, WestJet, Sunwing and Air Transat would all be cancelling their air services to Caribbean destinations and Mexico until April 30.

“With the challenges we currently face with COVID-19, both here at home and abroad, we all agree that now is just not the time to be flying,” Trudeau said in a press conference outside of Rideau Cottage in Ottawa.

In addition to having to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test to board a flight back to Canada, the prime minister also announced new mandatory PCR testing that will require international travellers to quarantine in an “approved” hotel designated by the federal government until their test results come back.

Incoming travelers will also be required to foot the bill for their stay, which is expected to be no longer than three days to wait for the results of their test and to cost more than $2,000.

Read more: Coronavirus: Canada adds over 4,200 new cases, 148 COVID-19 deaths

The news also comes as Canada grapples with vaccine delivery delays from Pfizer-BioNtech and Moderna, which threaten to disrupt the country’s goal of having a majority of the country vaccinated by September.

Canada was off to a slow start with its COVID-19 vaccine rollout, falling quickly behind that of Israel, Britain and the United States.

According to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, a majority of Canadians should expect to be vaccinated by September 2021, though experts have since warned of provinces not being able to reach that target anytime soon should the country’s current pace of vaccination continue.

Click to play video 'COVID-19 fatigue fueling acts of defiance' 2:36 COVID-19 fatigue fueling acts of defiance

COVID-19 fatigue fueling acts of defiance

Recent numbers from Our World In Data showed that the total number of vaccination doses administered per 100 people in Canada was 2.5 as of Jan. 30, in comparison to the 8.4 in the U.S., 13.1 in the U.K. and 53.8 in Israel.

Moderna announced it would be cutting Canada’s next vaccine delivery by more than 50,000 doses on Friday — roughly three-quarters of the expected supply.

The drug developer joined the ranks of Pfizer-BioNtech, which said it would begin reducing vaccine shipments.

Click to play video 'AMA tips amid new Canadian travel restrictions' 5:18 AMA tips amid new Canadian travel restrictions

AMA tips amid new Canadian travel restrictions

Yesterday, Canada reported an increase of 4,253 new COVID-19 cases, as well as another 148 deaths. Both Ontario and Quebec continue to tally the highest increases in cases and deaths across the country, though new numbers in those provinces and across Canada have seen a general decline since the holidays.

As of 11:20 a.m. ET on Sunday, a total of 102,691,967 people worldwide have since contracted the novel coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University. Over 2.2 million people have since died from the virus, with the U.S., India and Brazil continuing to lead in both infections and fatalities.

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