Canada seeing more cases from COVID-19 variants, says top doctor


A woman wearing a face mask walks past a Shoppers Drug Mart store advertising coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, March 16, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

OTTAWA - Canada is seeing more cases from COVID-19 variants, Canada's Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam said in a statement on Sunday.

"As of March 18, a total of 4,499 variants of concern have been reported across Canada, including 4,169 B.1.1.7 variants, 241 B.1.351 variants and 89 P.1 variants," said the Public Health Agency of Canada on Sunday.

COVID-19 variants of concern are taking a particularly strong hold in Western Canada, with Regina city seeing nearly all of its cases from the variants, prompting local health officials to urge caution and warn that lockdowns may return.

"In parts of Canada, variants of concern represent an increasingly high proportion of cases and are being associated with a greater number of outbreaks," Tam said.

On Thursday, Canada's most populous province of Ontario, with a population of 14 million, announced that Ontario is in the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic because of increasing COVID-19 variant cases.

Canada's capital city of Ottawa moved to the red zone on Friday as the spread of COVID-19 is getting out of control. Red brings with it some of the strictest restrictions detailed on the province's pandemic scale, second only to grey lockdown.

However, nationally, COVID-19 activity has leveled off at a high level since mid-February and average daily case counts are now on the rise.

As of Sunday afternoon, Canada reported 2,716 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the cumulative total to 933,230, including 22,673 deaths, according to CTV.

The country's latest national-level data show a seven-day average of 3,297 new cases daily on March 12-18. Currently, there are 34,283 active cases across the country.

While COVID-19 continues to impact people of all ages in Canada, infection rates are the highest among those aged 20-39 years of age, said Tam.

"Circulation of COVID-19 in younger, more mobile and socially-connected adults presents an ongoing risk for spread into high-risk populations and settings," Tam added in the statement.

More than 3.68 million doses of vaccines have been administered to date across Canada as of March 19, according to Tam.

2021年3月16日,加拿大安大略省多伦多市,一名戴着口罩的妇女走过一家为冠状病毒(新冠肺炎)疫苗做广告的购物者药品超市。[图片/机构]渥太华-加拿大首席公共卫生官特里萨·塔姆在周日的一份声明中说,加拿大发现了更多的新冠肺炎变种病例。加拿大公共卫生局周日表示:“截至3月18日,加拿大共报告了4499种令人担忧的变异,包括4169种B.1.1.7变异、241种B.1.351变异和89种P.1变异。”令人担忧的新冠肺炎变异在加拿大西部尤为严重,里贾纳市几乎发现了所有变异病例,这促使当地卫生官员敦促谨慎行事,并警告称,可能会再次出现封锁。“在加拿大的部分地区,令人担忧的变异体代表着越来越高的病例比例,并与更多的疫情相关联,”谭说。周四,拥有1400万人口的加拿大人口最多的安大略省宣布,由于新冠肺炎变异病例的增加,安大略省处于新冠肺炎大流行的第三波。随着新冠肺炎疫情的蔓延失去控制,加拿大首都渥太华周五迁至红区。红色带来了该省流行病规模的一些最严格的限制,仅次于灰色封锁。然而,从全国来看,自2月中旬以来,新冠肺炎的活动已经稳定在一个高水平,平均每日病例数现在正在上升。据CTV称,截至周日下午,加拿大报告了2716例新冠肺炎新病例,使累计总数达到933230例,包括22673例死亡。该国最新的国家级数据显示,3月12日至18日的7天平均每天有3297例新病例。目前,全国共有34,283例活跃病例。谭说,虽然新冠肺炎继续影响加拿大所有年龄的人,但感染率最高的是20-39岁的人。谭在声明中补充说:“新冠肺炎病毒在更年轻、流动性更强、社会关系更密切的成年人中的传播,呈现出向高风险人群和环境传播的持续风险。”。根据Tam的数据,截至3月19日,加拿大各地迄今已接种了368万剂疫苗。

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