COVID-19: Case of South African variant detected in Ottawa; Canada approves extracting extra dose from Pfizer vials
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There were just over 3,500 new cases each day in Canada, less than half the peak in early January, Tam said, when the daily case count topped 8,100.
“This is gratifying progress knowing the sacrifices we have all been making,” Tam said.
There have also been steady declines in severe cases, Tam said, which in turn is easing the pressures on both the health care system and the work force.
Hospitalizations have dropped 15 per cent over the past week in Canada to below 3,300 patients, with 728 in critical care.
Fatal cases have also declined to 100 deaths being reported each day across the country, Tam said.
“While declining case counts, hospitalizations and deaths are reassuring, we must continue to be cautious,” she said.
Cases of new variants detected in Canada have more than doubled in the past week, Tam warned, and seven provinces have now confirmed the presence of at least one of the variants.
These are considered “variants of concern,” Tam said, because they to be more communicable that other identified strains, and there is a “possibility of reduced protection from coronavirus vaccines.”
Tam said vigilance and strict adherence to public health restrictions will help prevent the variants from “reaccelerating the epidemic and making it much more difficult to control.”
Tam said public health officials have confirmed more than 355 B.117 (UK) variants, 25 B.1351 variants and one P1 (Brazil) variant reported in Canada. There is evidence of community spread in at least three provinces, Tam said, and outbreaks in long-term care homes and other settings, including one workplace.