Canada’s outbreak of the novel coronavirus has now claimed more than 8,000 lives.
The grim milestone comes as the number of fatalities rose by 11 on Friday morning, all from Ontario, for a country-wide total of 8,005. That number could rise throughout the day Friday as other provinces release their new daily tallies.
Confirmed cases of COVID-19 — the disease caused by the virus — also rose in Canada by 182, with current cases in the country now sitting at 97,712.
Quebec currently remains the hardest-hit province in Canada in terms of cases and deaths.
COVID-19 infections there account for more than 54 per cent of the country’s total. The province’s proportion of fatalities remains even higher, with COVID-19 deaths there making up more than 3 out of 5 of the country’s death toll.
Public health officials across Canada have since attributed the majority of the country’s deaths to outbreaks in long-term care homes.
Last month Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, said in a tweet that seniors accounted for more than 80 per cent of all COVID-19 deaths in Canada.
Last week, Tam warned again of the elevated risks the virus has against seniors and those with underlying medical conditions.
“In particular, seniors living in long-term care homes have borne the disproportionate impacts and severe outcomes of COVID-19,” wrote Tam in a previous tweet.
“Prevention and control of COVID-19 in this population is crucial for minimizing morbidity and mortality.”
The Canadian Armed Forces has since deployed its members to Ontario and Quebec to help residents to help care for residents.
In a story reported by Global News in late May, military documents revealed that CAF personnel who were sent to nursing homes in Ontario observed shocking conditions such as a lack of infection control measures and a mistreatment of residents.
Canadian Forces members deployed to five out of the province’s worst-hit seniors homes described the care in the facilities ranging as low as “borderline abusive, if not abusive” and worse, according to the documents.
Friday’s cases come amid what looks to be a declining trend of daily cases across the country that has been seen over the past week.
Daily reported cases of the virus spread across Canada has remained under the 1,000 mark for almost three weeks. Canada on Thursday also recorded 405 cases, the lowest since March 22.
Canada’s daily death toll has also been following a period of decline relative decline over the past week, with country-wide fatalities keeping below 100 since June 4.
COVID-19 infections worldwide have since exceeded 7,540,000 confirmed cases, including over 422,000 deaths according to a running tally kept by John Hopkins University.
Confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States surpassed two million Wednesday night. COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. have also exceeded 113,000 in total.
The novel coronavirus was first identified in January after the city of Wuhan in China reported a cluster of then unexplained pneumonia cases not associated with any known virus.
COVID-19, which has brought the world economy to a standstill and prompted wide shutdowns of non-essential businesses, was declared a pandemic on March 11.
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