OTTAWA – Canada is seeing a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases, alarming health officials and triggering a second round of lockdowns and strict removal recommendations.
The average daily case count has nearly reached peak levels set in April, according to the country’s public health officer. Confirmed cases in the past seven days – 9,636 ending September 28 – have increased by 29% from the previous seven-day period, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, and are about three times the tally for the last seven days of August. .
“This is worrying,” Dr Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, said Tuesday. “Things have escalated quickly and can escalate further.”
Almost all of the growth in confirmed infections occurs in the two largest provinces, Ontario and Quebec, which account for nearly two-thirds of the population but 80% of cases. Overall, however, the number of cases from Canada was much lower than that of the United States and Europe.
The withdrawal can be attributed in part to broadcasting at private social gatherings, such as parties hosted by young adults, dinners and weddings, health officials say. Infectious disease experts said other factors include the return of children to school, the reopening of workplaces, and the cooler climate that brings people indoors.
Some officials, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, warn that a second wave of infections could produce more cases than seen in the spring.
Canada, with a population of 38 million, has recorded about 1
Canada is starting to see “exponential growth that is starting to mimic what we have seen in the UK and what has been seen a month and a half earlier in France and Spain,” said Dr Andrew Morris, a professor at the University of Toronto. ward and an infectious disease specialist.
Last week, the UK introduced new restrictions to quell its second wave, while France and Spain took more targeted measures such as early closing times for restaurants and taverns and limits on when residents can leave their neighborhoods.
Quebec moved on Monday to re-impose restrictions. It has decided to ban bars and restaurants from offering indoor and outdoor services for a period of 28 days in Montreal, Canada’s second largest city, and in the provincial capital, Quebec City, starting October 1. He also ordered libraries, museums, and movie theaters closed for that period and banned meetings in homes with few exceptions.
Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, has resisted the imposition of widespread restrictions, instead relying on the voluntary cooperation of people to get away and stay at home in case of illness. Now, the City of Toronto is considering further reducing seating capacity in restaurants and other measures aimed at social interaction.
“Our collective actions will decide whether we get a wave or a tsunami,” Ontario chief government Doug Ford warned.
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Dr. Jesse Papenburg, an infectious disease specialist at McGill University Health Center in Montreal, said there are differences with the spread of infections in recent weeks compared to spring. Chief among these, he said, is that most of the new cases are among young adults, aged 20 to 40, compared to spring, when cases from nursing homes were predominant. His concern is that young adults are spreading the virus to the elderly and the most vulnerable, especially if families gather in October for Thanksgiving in Canada.
“How long will we still be able to protect the vulnerable?” He asked.
—Kim Mackrael contributed to this article.
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