Coronavirus variants spread leads to surge of new cases in Canada

Coronavirus

The rapid spread of more contagious Covid-19 variants is believed to have driven a devastating third wave in Canada.

As of Saturday afternoon, a total of 30,108 variant of concern cases have been reported across Canada, including 28,624 B.1.1.7 variants, 1,133 P.1 variants and 351 B.1.351 variants, according to CTV.

As of Saturday afternoon, Canada reported 5,986 new cases of Covid-19, bringing the cumulative total to 1,051,246, including 23,282 deaths, according to CTV.

"Although B.1.1.7, which is now confirmed in all provinces and two territories, continues to account for the majority of variants of concern in Canada and has likely replaced the original virus in some areas, there has been a concerning rise in P.1 cases in recent weeks," Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer, said in a statement on Saturday, Xinhua news agency reported.

"Early evidence suggests that the P.1 variant may reduce the effectiveness of vaccines, making it even more important to control its spread," Tam added in the statement.

The number of confirmed variant cases in Canada has skyrocketed in recent weeks, rising from about 2,000 a month ago to over 30,000 as of Saturday afternoon and counting, with more than 90 per cent of those being the B.1.1.7 variant first identified in Britain.

The P1 variant first discovered in Brazil is also on the rise in Canada, with cases increasing to more than 1,100 as of Saturday afternoon, mostly in the populous provinces of British Columbia, Ontario and Alberta.

Meanwhile, the B.1.351 variant first found in South Africa is also picking up steam, with more than 350 cases identified in the country.

"The race between the vaccine and the variants is at a critical point," Tam said. "It is clear that we need stronger control to combat variants of concern that are driving rapid epidemic growth in many areas of the country."

Younger Canadians are being impacted harder in the third wave, Tam said, with infection rates highest among those aged 20 to 39 and a rise in the number of hospitalizations and ICU admissions in those under 60.

The fact is Canada's third wave of Covid-19 is showing no signs of slowing down as the vaccine rollout gradually ramps up, meaning Canadians need to buckle down until more of us get a shot, Canadian experts said.

They added that Canada's slower vaccine rollout means our third wave could last into June.

Altogether, 7,569,321 vaccine doses have been administered as of Friday, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

--IANS

int/


(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel