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Canada sees 150 new coronavirus deaths as cases top 680K

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Canada added 6,849 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday, pushing the total number of infections in the country to 680,806.

Health authorities said another 150 people have died after testing positive for COVID-19.

To date, the virus has claimed 17,383 lives in Canada. 
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However, 584,652 people have recovered after contracting the respiratory illness and health officials have administered 19,946,587 tests for the virus. 

Read more: Ontario attempts to clarify what is essential under COVID-19 pandemic stay-at-home order

In a series of tweets Wednesday, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said officials are continuing to monitor for the different variants of the COVID-19 virus through “routine & targeted genomic surveillance to detect variants of concern including variants that may be associated with an increased risk of spread.”

Tam said to date, 22 cases of the U.K. variant and one case of the South African variant have been detected in Canada.

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Meanwhile, health officials across the country continue to work to vaccinate those most vulnerable to the disease, including the elderly and front line health-care workers.

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According to Health Canada, a total of 548,950 doses of the two approved COVID-19 vaccines have been distributed for use to the provinces and territories.

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Provinces see thousands of new cases

In Ontario, 2,961 new cases and 74 new fatalities were detected.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 224,984 infections have been reported in Ontario and 5,127 people have died. 

The new cases and deaths come as a stay-at-home-order issued for the province is set to take effect at midnight.

A state of emergency has also been declared in Ontario by Premier Doug Ford for the second time since the beginning of the pandemic.

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Meanwhile, Quebec added 2,071 new cases and 33 fatalities.

To date, Quebec has reported 234,695 cases of the disease, and 8,815 people have died after falling ill.

A province-wide curfew remains in effect in Quebec as officials scramble to control the virus.

Manitoba added 155 new cases and five new deaths on Wednesday, while 247 new infections and two new fatalities were reported in Saskatchewan.

Read more: Territories will have enough COVID-19 vaccines for 75% of adults by end of March

In Atlantic Canada, 27 more people have tested positive for COVID-19.

New Brunswick added 19 new cases and health officials said one more person has died, bringing the provincial death toll to 12.

Meanwhile, Nova Scotia saw eight new cases, pushing the total case load to 1,542, however no additional deaths have occurred.

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Neither Prince Edward Island nor Newfoundland and Labrador added a new infection or death on Wednesday.

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In Western Canada, 1,388 new cases of the virus were detected.

Health officials in Alberta said 875 more people have contracted the virus, and another 23 fatalities have occurred.

Read more: Moderna vaccine approved: What we know about side effects, ingredients and doses

To date, 113,618 people in the province have tested positive for the virus and 1,368 have died in Alberta.

British Columbia reported 513 new cases, bringing the number of infections in the province to 58,550.

Health officials said six new epidemiologically-linked cases have also been identified, but have not yet been confirmed by a laboratory.

Twelve new fatalities bring B.C.’s total death toll to 1,031.

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No new cases of COVID-19 were detected in Canada’s territories on Wednesday, and officials confirmed no one else has died.

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To date, the Yukon and Nunavut have seen 70 and  266 cases of the virus, respectively.

The Northwest Territories has reported 24 infections.

Global cases surpass 92 million

Since the novel coronavirus was first detected, it has infected 92,240,036 people around the world, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University.
To date, 1,975,707 have died after contracting the disease.

The United States remained the viral epicentre on Wednesday having reported 23,044,857 cases and 384,204 fatalities since the pandemic began.