Ottawa, Dec 12 (IANS): Canada is expected to record 531,300-577,000 Covid-19 cases and 14,920 deaths by Christmas Day amid the ongoing second wave of the pandemic, according to the country’s health agency.
On Friday, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) said the country is on a rapid growth trajectory of Covid-19 and that the curve of the second wave is not flattening out, the Xinhua news agency reports.
Some 100,000 new cases have been reported across the country in just the last three weeks.
As of now, the total number of cases in the country amounted to 448,841 with 13,251 deaths.
With the Christmas holidays just around the corner, the PHAC said that if people maintain their current rate of contact with each other, the pandemic will continue to increase.
In a statement on Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said: “Again this week, too many provinces reported record levels in cases and hospitalizations. These numbers must come down.
“If we maintain the current number of people that each of us is in contact with, the numbers will continue to increase and we could reach more than 12,000 new cases per day in January.
“There is no other way, we must reduce our contacts in person right now.”
Over the past seven days, Canada recorded more than 6,500 new cases per day, and 49 of the country’s 99 health regions have reported more than 100 cases per 100,000 people.
“High infection rates in communities continually lead to new infections, more and more outbreaks, and spread to high-risk schools and settings, such as hospitals, long-term care facilities, prisons, and shelters, where Covid-19 the spread is further amplified in closed environments, “Public Health Director Theresa Tam said Friday.
“This is a difficult cycle of spread that cannot be managed by responding to the outbreak alone,” he said.
“Covid-19 continues to present a very clear danger to Canadians across the country. We know the vaccine is an important part of the solution to stop the spread and reduce deaths, but we have a lot of work to do together as a country in the coming months, “Health Minister Patty Hajdu said on Friday.
“We are entering a very complicated period of time, of course it is the holiday season, many of us are looking forward to a break from our workplaces and a chance to have some downtime. But we will have to be very, very cautious. for the next few weeks, “Hajdu added.