Advertisement

Canada’s coronavirus death toll surpasses 14,000 as cases close in on 500K

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: Canada’s national COVID-19 case count more than 6,650 daily, Dr. Tam says' Coronavirus: Canada’s national COVID-19 case count more than 6,650 daily, Dr. Tam says
WATCH: Canada’s national COVID-19 case count more than 6,650 daily, Dr. Tam says – Dec 18, 2020

Canada’s cases of the novel coronavirus floated at just under 500,000 Friday after the country reported an increase of 6,702 new cases.

The numbers follow a continuing surge in cases, deaths and hospitalizations, all of which have been increasing at an alarming rate. Health authorities have also marked another 124 deaths, which pushed the country’s death toll past 14,000.

Read more: The EU price list for COVID-19 vaccines was leaked. Will Canada release its prices?

To date, a total of 494,941 people have been diagnosed with the virus in Canada, of whom 405,611 have recovered. Over 17 million tests have also been administered.

Friday’s total caseload followed a record breaking 7,002 new cases that were identified a day earlier. Thursday’s case increase, which clocked in at over 7,000 for the first time since the start of the pandemic, came as Ontario posted 2,432 new infections.

Story continues below advertisement
Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: Trudeau comments on U.S. vaccination rollout, says Canada secured ‘more potential doses per Canadian’' Coronavirus: Trudeau comments on U.S. vaccination rollout, says Canada secured ‘more potential doses per Canadian’
Coronavirus: Trudeau comments on U.S. vaccination rollout, says Canada secured ‘more potential doses per Canadian’ – Dec 18, 2020

The alarming increase has pushed the provincial government to announce an extension of a lockdown on two of its COVID-19 hotspots, with Premier Doug Ford expected to announce a set of new restrictions come Monday.

Ontario’s unrelenting surge comes amid a myriad of announcements made Friday from other officials and public health authorities in Canada.

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: Canada to receive 125,000 Pfizer vaccines per week starting in January' Coronavirus: Canada to receive 125,000 Pfizer vaccines per week starting in January
Coronavirus: Canada to receive 125,000 Pfizer vaccines per week starting in January – Dec 18, 2020

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also confirmed Friday that Canada was going to receive 500,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine ahead of schedule by the end of January. According to Trudeau, 125,000 doses were expected to arrive every week over that first month of 2021.

Story continues below advertisement

In a separate press conference, Procurement Minister Anita Anand announced four million doses of the Pfizer vaccine were expected to also arrive in Canada by the end of March — enough to vaccinate a total of two million people.

To date, Canada has already invested over $1 billion into procuring about 429 million doses from several vaccine manufacturers. The country’s first shipment of 30,000 Pfizer vaccines arrived earlier this week, with provincial health authorities already beginning to vaccinate high priority groups across the country.

Read more: U.S. gets 2nd coronavirus vaccine after FDA gives Moderna green light

In a statement Friday, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer said that the average daily national case count stands at 6,650 over the last seven days, with high rates of infection continuing in many areas across the country.

Story continues below advertisement

Ontario added the highest number of new cases Friday as the only province with over 2,000 new cases. Health authorities said the province’s total caseload now stood at 151,257 after 2,290 more cases were announced. Another 40 deaths were reported in the province as well.

Alberta recorded over 1,400 new cases Friday and 45 more deaths, while B.C. clocked in another 620 lab-confirmed infections and 11 fatalities. Caseloads in both provinces now stand at 87,581 and 44,995, respectively.

Click to play video: 'Should kids go back to school after the holidays? Top doctor answers your coronavirus questions' Should kids go back to school after the holidays? Top doctor answers your coronavirus questions
Should kids go back to school after the holidays? Top doctor answers your coronavirus questions – Dec 18, 2020

Quebec added 1,773 more cases on Friday. Another 35 deaths were also announced by the province, though only five had occurred in the past 24 hours.

Saskatchewan reported another 245 cases Friday, raising its total cases to over 13,000. Manitoba added 350 more cases on Friday as well.

In Atlantic Canada, Nova Scotia reported an increase of seven cases while Newfoundland and Labrador added another five. New Brunswick did not report any new cases Friday, while P.E.I. did not release new data.

Story continues below advertisement

Read more: ‘Good riddance’ to 2020: Trudeau urges COVID-19 vigilance over the holidays

The Northwest Territories was the only territory to report a new case of the virus Friday, with one more infection.

Cases of the novel coronavirus continue to increase worldwide, with over 75,000,000 infections identified to date according to Johns Hopkins University. Over 1.67 million people have since succumbed to the virus, with the U.S., Brazil and India leading in both cases and fatalities.

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: Trudeau says CERB repayments shouldn’t be ‘extra stressor’ over holidays' Coronavirus: Trudeau says CERB repayments shouldn’t be ‘extra stressor’ over holidays
Coronavirus: Trudeau says CERB repayments shouldn’t be ‘extra stressor’ over holidays – Dec 18, 2020

Sponsored content