The novel coronavirus pandemic reached another grim milestone on Wednesday, with more than 40,000 infections now reported across Canada.
According to the latest numbers released by provincial health authorities and the Public Health Agency of Canada, by Wednesday evening there were a total of 40,179 COVID-19 cases confirmed across the country.
READ MORE: Live updates: Coronavirus in Canada
Quebec and Ontario remained the hardest-hit provinces on Wednesday, with 839 and 510 infections reported, respectively.
The virus has also claimed 1,974 lives in Canada.
Officials added, however, that a total of 13,999 people have recovered from COVID-19 — the disease caused by the virus — in Canada.
Federal modelling released earlier this month suggests the first wave of the virus could subside in the summer.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that is when he expects some of the country’s social-distancing measures will be lifted and noted the country will not return to normalcy until a vaccine is developed.
What’s more, recent modelling out of Ontario suggests the province has already hit the peak of the first wave, with a drastically lower number of infections than previously projected.
Experts note that while it is hard to say for certain if similar projections will translate across the rest of the country, the results are encouraging and prove that the stringent public health measures in place have been successful in stemming further spread of the virus.
Since the virus was first detected in Wuhan, China in December, it has spread around the world at an alarming rate, infecting more than 2.6 million people globally and killing over 182,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The virus has forced the closure of businesses and schools worldwide and has devastated the global economy.
— With files from David LaoView link »