Second wave of Covid in Canada is far more widespread
The second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in Canada is proving to be far more widespread than even the spring outbreak, with public health officials projecting the country could record an additional 100,000 cases of infections within a 10-day period.
To place that figure in context, it took months to reach the number in Canada in 2020 after the coronavirus crisis began. According to the news outlet CBC, it has taken less than a fortnight for the number of confirmed cases in the country to jump from 600,000 and cross the 700,000 mark. Canada is now reporting 702,183 cases with 17,865 deaths.
This continued escalation comes even as the country grapples with a slow pace of vaccinations amidst a major supplier, Pfizer, cutting supplies for the time being.
The manufacturer of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is reducing supplies as it retools production in Belgium to expend long-term production capacity, impacting the vaccination plans to several provinces which have already undertaken administration of the first dose to many in vulnerable demographics.
Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand tweeted, “We are once again in touch with representatives from Pfizer to reiterate firmly the importance for Canada to return to our regular delivery schedule as soon as possible.”
The government was hopeful regular supplies will be restored by March so the vaccination drive could return to normal.
That comes amidst grim projections from the Public Health Agency of Canada. New modelling indicates that cases could rise to over 12,500 daily if the current level of contacts is maintained by Canadians and could reach nearly 30,000 per day if interactions were to increase. Drastic measures, like an overnight curfew in the province of Quebec, and a near-lockdown in Ontario, are among the steps that have been taken in an effort to change the trajectory.
Chief Public Health Officer Dr Theresa Tam said that forecasting showed that “we could have 10,000 cases daily by the end of January, with increasing hospitalisations and deaths expected to continue to follow the rising case numbers.” She added that given the current momentum “rapid accumulation of cases will continue until we can make significant progress in interrupting spread.”
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