Canada continues to see new everyday Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations emerging, as officers warn that variants are rapidly spreading and threatening younger Canadians.
“Even if the end of the pandemic is in sight, the variants mean the situation is even more serious. We’re entering the final stretch of this crisis, we just need to stay strong a little longer,” said Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister during a Covid-19 meeting in Ottawa Tuesday.
Trudeau announced that once again Pfizer has agreed to increase its vaccine delivery in Canada. But even with 4 vaccines approved, public health officials say that in this third wave of pandemic it will do little to mitigate the burden of hospitals.
“The ongoing increase in infection rates is now playing out in our hospitals with rising trends in severe and critical illnesses, placing renewed strain on the health system,” said Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s top doctor, speaking alongside Trudeau.
Tam stated that Canada was experiencing a third pandemic resurgence but added that with the vaccine of the majority of the elderly population, the rise in hospitalizations has not affected the population over and above the age of 80 years.
The new variant cases detected in Canada alone in the past week also showed a 64% increase in Tam. She said that the vast majority are B.1.1.7, the initially detected variant in Britain, and described the actual spread variant as the iceberg tip.
This week, a circuit breaker lockdown was imposed on the Province of British Columbia, whereby indoor dining was closed, school masks were needed and the fitness indoors prohibited.
In Ontario, hospital officials say they are getting more and more vulnerable to the virus in order to provide critical treatment for younger patients, doctors say.
The Scientific Advisory Panel on Ontario released data on Monday indicating that the new variation cases have caused a two-week doubling of ICU admissions.
“COVID-19 ICU patients under the age of 60 are now 50 percent higher than before the province-wide lock-down,” says the report.
The scientific consultative panel offers guidance and research so that the government can update its recommendations in response to the pandemic. For more than four months, many parts of Ontario, including the largest city in Canada, Toronto, had already been locked in some form.