Ottawa: Canada is on the verge of a “third wave” of the coronavirus pandemic resulting from a surge in variant cases across the country, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday.
“Around the world countries face a very serious third of this pandemic. Right now, so is Canada,” Trudeau told reporters.
The new wave of the pandemic is reportedly being spurred by rising caseloads in the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia.
Ontario is in the early days of a third province-wide lockdown since the onset of the pandemic, with the province recording an average of more than 3,000 new daily cases over the past week. Experts estimate that varians – particularly the B.1.1.7 one first identified in the United Kingdom – now make up two-thirds of all new cases.
In British Columbia, public health officials are sounding the alarm about the surge in cases of the P.1 variant that was first identified in Brazil. Since the beginning of April provincial health authorities have logged over 737 cases of the Brazilian variant.
Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam expressed concern that the P.1 variant may reduce the efficacy of vaccines.
Trudeau said that he will discuss the situation in Ontario with Premier Doug Ford later in the day, and the situation nation-wide during a virtual roundtable with provincial premiers on Wednesday.