- COVID-19 cases in Canada could quickly rise in the coming days, according to Canada’s top health official, due to the Omicron variant’s community spread.
According to Canada’s top health official, COVID-19 cases in the country could rapidly rise in the coming days due to the community spread of the Omicron variant, mirroring the situation in the country’s most populous province, Ontario.
The rise in COVID-19 cases in Ontario, which accounts for nearly 40% of Canada’s population of 39 million people, has prompted the provincial government to postpone plans to ease restrictions ahead of the holiday season.
On Monday, the province reported 1,536 COVID-19 cases, up more than 70% from a week ago, with 80 cases of the Omicron variant, which has spread to over 60 countries since its discovery last month.
The Omicron coronavirus variant poses a “very high” global risk, according to the World Health Organization, with some evidence that it evades vaccine protection but limited clinical data on its severity.
According to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, at least one patient has died in the United Kingdom after contracting the Omicron variant.
According to CTV News, Ontario has directed government employees who began gradually returning to their offices in November to return to working from home at least until early February.
“So what we’re seeing in Ontario, I expect to see in other parts of the country, as it has in Europe and other parts of the world,” said Theresa Tam, the province’s chief public health officer.
“But we are definitely seeing community transmission, possibly in its early stages, but this can quickly escalate in the days ahead,” she added in response to reporters’ questions after announcing recommendations to improve Canada’s public health system in a report to parliament.
According to the report, Canada needs to hire more health workers, improve technology and governance, and provide more stable funding.
“Canada’s public health system is far from perfect, and we must be prepared to roll up our sleeves as part of our transformation process,” Tam said.
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