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Canada reports zero deaths from COVID-19 for the first time since March

FILE PHOTO: People walk into the Eaton Center shopping mall as provincial phase 2 of the reopening from coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions begins in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on June 24, 2020. REUTERS / Carlos Osorio / File Photo

TORONTO (Reuters) – Canada has reported zero deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours for the first time since March 15, according to public health agency data released late Friday.

Canada’s death toll from the pandemic was 9,1

63 as of September 11, the same number of deaths reported on September 10, government data showed. The number of positive cases increased by 702 to 135,626 on Sept. 11 from the previous day, the data showed.

With most provinces loosening lockdown restrictions and schools reopening for in-person classes, Canada’s infections have seen a mild recovery in recent days. Authorities have been on high alert to avoid new outbreaks and provinces, including British Columbia, have imposed new limits to counter the spread of the virus.

However, Canada’s situation looks relatively healthy compared to its southern neighbor. Across the border in the United States, more than 190,000 people have died as a result of the pandemic and more than 6.38 million people have been infected.

Canada’s experience in dealing with SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, has helped health officials be better prepared. SARS killed 44 people in Canada, the only country outside Asia to report deaths from that outbreak in 2002-2003.

Canada’s first recorded case of coronavirus was in Toronto on January 25. Both Ontario, the country’s most populous province, and neighboring Quebec have turned into hot spots for COVID-19 infections.

Both provinces have struggled with outbreaks in long-term care homes. Canada’s first COVID-19 death was reported on March 9 at a British Columbia long-term care facility.

When COVID-19 cases began to rise in mid-March, Canada closed its international borders to all foreign nationals and stepped up testing in an effort to isolate infected patients. Ontario and Alberta have faced epidemics among temporary foreign workers on farms and meat processing plants, which have slowed reopening in some regions.

Reportage by Denny Thomas and Moira Warburton; Editing by Sandra Maler and Leslie Adler

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