Ontario received good news on Tuesday as the province reported 1,740 cases of COVID-19, the lowest on a single day since mid-December.
But the news of an outbreak in a Barrie, Ont., long-term care home involving the U.K. variant of the coronavirus has left many people scared.
Infectious diseases specialist Dr. Sumon Chakrabarti recently joined The Morning Show to share insight on the growing concerns around the variant and to breakdown the latest COVID-19 headlines.
He says while variants should be taken seriously, they are “a normal aspect of viral mutation.”
“It happens all the time. Even viruses we know like influenza,” he added while stressing the need for infection prevention and control.
With the number of virus variants increasing, some experts are suggesting wearing two to three masks as a safety precaution.
“There needs to be some standardization of what makes a face mask,” he said.
“We should be wearing a mask — one that’s layered — and wearing it properly, especially in indoor settings.”
The government is also planning to place travel bans. However, the epidemiologist says travel-related illnesses are low.
“An all-travel ban is not where the highest yield would be,” he added while encouraging travel deterrents and increased testing at airports.
While the federal government has purchased more than 40.5 million rapid tests, only about 15.4 million have arrived in Canada.
“Raping testing can really help change things, especially in high-risk settings and workplaces … I do think they should be releasing it more broadly,” he said.
Tuesday also brought other good news: human clinical trials began for a Canada-made COVID-19 vaccine by Toronto-based Providence Therapeutics.
“There are some supply issues of the vaccine and having this here on home soil is great news,” Chakrabarti said.
“But it is early — we have to wait to see what happens … let’s hope this works out.”
To learn more about the new coronavirus variants, watch the full video above.
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