Canada hit yet another grim milestone Tuesday as the country’s death toll from the novel coronavirus surpassed 10,000.
British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, Nunavut and the Yukon have not yet released new coronavirus data.
The milestone, which has only been reached by 20 other nations according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University, comes amid a second wave of the virus that has shattered new case records across parts of the country.
Ontario in particular reported back-to-back days of record breaking case increases over the weekend after adding more than 1,000 new for the first time on Sunday, followed by Saturday’s record of 978.
Over the past two weeks, daily reported case records have also been broken in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam has since warned that the number of serious virus-related hospitalizations and deaths could increase even more in the coming weeks due to the uptick in new cases.
“As hospitalizations and deaths tend to lag behind increased disease activity by one to several weeks, the concern is that we have yet to see the extent of severe impacts associated with the ongoing increase in COVID-19 disease activity,” wrote Tam in a statement Saturday.
“As well, influenza and respiratory infections typically increase during the Fall and Winter, placing increased demands on hospitals.”
According to Tam, an average of 1,010 people diagnosed with the disease were being treated in hospital each day from Oct. 16 to 22, of which 209 were admitted to intensive care. During the same period an average of 23 deaths were being reported daily — an increase of 18 from just six weeks ago.
The Public Health Agency of Canada’s latest data on fatalities showed that seniors still retained the highest proportion of coronavirus deaths in Canada, with those aged 70 and above accounting for 89 per cent of all deaths.
The majority of deaths were also situated in two provinces, with Ontario and Quebec accounting for more than 9,000.
The latest data on hospitalizations — which was based on the 126,941 cases for which data was available to PHAC — showed that a total of 13,815 cases have since been hospitalized, of which 24.1 per cent were admitted to ICU and 3.4 per cent required ventilation.
Though younger people are less likely to be hospitalized by the virus, the data showed that at least 600 out 3,332 people PHAC said were admitted to ICU were under the age of 49.
Youths between 20 and 29 now make up the single largest age group that have contracted the coronavirus, accounting for over 18 per cent of Canada’s total infections. The total jumps to more than 46 per cent after being combined with the under 19 and 30 to 39 age groups.
At a press conference in August, Tam said that young people were accounting for the majority of new cases over the last several weeks in comparison to the first peak of the epidemic in Canada.
“The most concerning issue is that, as COVID-19 continues to circulate in any age group — as it has for weeks in young adults — it builds a reservoir of the virus that can spill over affecting others young and old,” said Tam during her daily coronavirus update on Aug. 25. “That includes older adults that are high risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes and people of all ages with underlying medical conditions.”
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