Editor’s note: A previous version of this story erroneously stated Italy has recorded the second-highest number of COVID-19 cases. In fact, Spain has reported the second-highest number of infections.
As health officials work to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus, the pandemic reached a new milestone on Wednesday, with the virus now having claimed more than 1,000 lives in Canada.
According to the latest numbers released by the provincial health authorities 1,010 people in Canada have now died of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.
The majority of deaths in Canada have taken place in Quebec and Ontario with the provinces reporting 487 and 385 fatalities, respectively.
The total number of confirmed cases also jumped to 28,364 on Wednesday, with Quebec reporting the most infections at 14,860.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday, the country’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam said a “significant portion” of the COVID-19 deaths in Canada are linked to outbreaks at long-term care facilities.
“Sadly, because COVID-19 can have a prolonged course, these deaths will continue to increase even as the epidemic growth rate slows down,” she said.
While the majority of those who contract COVID-19 will experience mild symptoms, those over the age of 65 and individuals with underlying health conditions are at a higher risk.
Federal modelling released last week suggests the first wave of the novel coronavirus pandemic will begin subsiding in Canada this summer.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that is when he expects some of the country’s social-distancing measures will be lifted but that the country will not return to normalcy until a vaccine is developed.
“I know that everyone is very interested to know when things are going to get back to normal, when they’ll be able to go back to work, when we’ll be able to leave this isolation at home, when kids will be able to go back to schools,” Trudeau told reporters on Tuesday.
“The reality is it is going to be weeks. Still, we recognize that it is going to be important to get our economy going and that we will have to do it in phases.”
The total number of COVID-19 infections worldwide also surpassed two million on Wednesday.
The United States remained the hardest-hit country on Wednesday, with more than 637,300 cases.
Spain recorded the second-highest number of infections, at 180,659