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article imagePublic Health Canada warns of resurgence of COVID variants

By Karen Graham     Mar 26, 2021 in Health
Ontario - After two months of relative stability, Canada's COVID-19 case count is expected to rise rapidly in the coming weeks as virus variants take hold. Canada is projected to hit roughly 1 million total cases next week, according to PHAC.
New long-range projections being presented by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) show that the rollout of vaccinations will not be able to keep pace with the spread of the coronavirus, said Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer, per CBC Canada.
"COVID-19 still has a few tricks in store and we need to hold on together a bit stronger and longer until vaccines have us protected," Tam said. While the setback is "discouraging," she said, better days are ahead. "We are closer now than ever, but it's still too soon to relax measures."
Despite the warnings from PHAC and other provincial health officials, COVID variants are “increasing rapidly” in several parts of Canada, and the experience internationally demonstrates that stronger measures are needed if Canada wants to control the spread of more contagious variants, the health agency says, reports CTV News Canada.
Covid in Ontario and Alberta
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney continues to cast doubt on Dr. Tam's warnings and projections, saying that in his view they have been proved to be “spectacularly inaccurate." Thing is - the latest modeling projections have been proven to be very accurate in assessing the uptick invariants.
Kenney also wants the federal government to give provinces faster access to vaccines as a way to prevent further lockdowns or the variants taking hold, completely dismissing the need for masking and social distancing.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford is apparently on board with Kenney when it comes to lifting lockdowns and easing restrictions in some areas of the province, though there was considerable variant spread being detected.
Even the strictest level of the province’s pandemic framework isn’t enough to reduce rising infections from more contagious variants, said Dr. Peter Juni of the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table, per Global News.
“This pandemic has never been under the control since it started to (take) hold in Ontario, and that’s the challenge,” Juni said in an interview.
With all the dire warnings surrounding the coronavirus, here's something that should make all Canadians very proud - and it is quite a list!
On Friday, Dr. Tam suggested that the frequent up and down of imposing and then lifting of measures as soon as the spread starts to come down is the wrong approach at this time. “It may not be staying at home for every area… You’ve got to implement measures that work in your community where people are going to stick to as few interactions,” she said. “If there are detections that this activity is ramping up, then definitely don't relax.”
COVID-19 variants like B117, now account for a high proportion of new cases and make up half of all new cases in some areas. There are roughly 3,000 new cases being reported each day nationwide, up from about 2,000 a month ago. And PHAC warns that case counts could rise to 12,000 cases per day if Canadians let down their guard.
Alberta, B.C., and Ontario are projected to see the biggest spike in daily cases in the next few weeks. This is why it is so very important to limit contact with others, wear a mask, and social distance.
More about public health Canada, uptick in variants spread, UK variant, Ontario province, provincial shutdown
 
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