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Canada adds another 158 coronavirus deaths as vaccine shipments see further delays

Click to play video: 'Canada criticized for taking coronavirus vaccine doses from COVAX' Canada criticized for taking coronavirus vaccine doses from COVAX
WATCH ABOVE: Canada criticized for taking coronavirus vaccine doses from COVAX – Feb 4, 2021

Canada added another 4,084 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, with the national infection total stopping just short of 800,000.

Thursday’s data placed Canada’s caseload at 797,738, of which at least 725,500 people have since recovered.

Canada’s death toll from the novel coronavirus now stands at over 20,500, after another 158 deaths were reported by health authorities Thursday, while over 22,488,000 tests and 1.01 million vaccine doses have been administered.

Read more: Canada working ‘very, very closely’ with U.S. to fight coronavirus: Trudeau

As of Feb. 3, the country was averaging about 4,061 new cases of the COVID-19 — over a thousand less than the average new infections recorded just a week earlier.

That decline also came amid remarks from the country’s top doctor, who noted in her daily update that active cases in Canada saw a near 30 per cent over the past two weeks.

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“Over the past two weeks there has been an almost 30 per cent reduction in active COVID-19 cases across Canada, from over 68,400 cases two weeks ago to 48,221 active cases at present,” said Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam in a statement Thursday.

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: Freeland says WHO’s COVAX vaccine sharing plan was ‘always part of strategy’' Coronavirus: Freeland says WHO’s COVAX vaccine sharing plan was ‘always part of strategy’
Coronavirus: Freeland says WHO’s COVAX vaccine sharing plan was ‘always part of strategy’ – Feb 4, 2021

Despite the positive outlook on new case numbers, Tam warned that such a trend could “reverse quickly” as elevated daily case counts and high rates of infection remained across all age groups in Canada.

“These factors underscore the importance of sustaining public health measures and individual practices and not easing restrictions too fast or too soon,” said Tam.

“This is particularly important in light of the emergence of new virus variants of concern that could rapidly accelerate transmission of COVID-19 in Canada.”

Read more: Moderna is reducing vaccine deliveries this month. Canada doesn’t know why

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Tam’s comments also come amid a reduction in COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna Thursday. The company had promised to deliver a total of 230,000 doses to Canada this week, but 180,000 had arrived on Thursday morning instead.

Moderna was to deliver over 230,000 doses to Canada this week, but 180,000 arrived Thursday morning instead.

Canadian officials on Thursday confirmed that fewer doses would arrive later this month, but said they didn’t know why they had received another reduced shipment.

Earlier this week, the Public Health Agency Canada revealed that the company would only be sending about 78 per cent of its promised vaccine doses during the first week of February.

Click to play video: 'More uncertainty over delivery of COVID-19 vaccine doses to Canada' More uncertainty over delivery of COVID-19 vaccine doses to Canada
More uncertainty over delivery of COVID-19 vaccine doses to Canada – Feb 4, 2021

The news also comes as the federal government was criticized after Canada became the first G7 country to dip into the COVAX vaccine program, which was intended to “guarantee fair and equitable (vaccine) access for every country in the world.”

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The government has since said that the vaccine program has “always been intended” to secure more vaccine doses for Canada.

“COVAX is not a fund for developing countries only but a mechanism to ensure equitable access to vaccines for all countries that are participating in it, including Canada,” said Guillaume Dumas, a spokesperson for International Development Minister Karina Gould, in a statement to Global News.

New COVID-19 cases were reported in several areas across Canada Thursday. In Ontario, which reported the highest increase, another 1,563 cases and 88 more deaths were announced by the province.

Quebec saw another 1,093 infections on Thursday, as well as another 42 fatalities related to the virus. The province’s death toll stands as the highest in Canada with 9,941 fatalities, and is expected to surpass the grim 10,000 landmark this weekend.

British Columbia reported another 465 cases and six new deaths in the province Thursday. The province has also recorded a total of 614 “epi-linked” cases since the start of pandemic, which are patients who were in close contact with confirmed cases and exhibit symptoms, but were never formally tested. Three “epi-linked” cases were included in the province’s announcement Thursday.

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Alberta added another 582 infections on Thursday and 13 new deaths.

Saskatchewan recorded 250 new cases and seven deaths, while Manitoba tallied another 110 infections and two fatalities.

All provinces in Atlantic Canada reported new data on Thursday as well.

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: Marc Miller defends prioritizing Indigenous communities in vaccine rollout' Coronavirus: Marc Miller defends prioritizing Indigenous communities in vaccine rollout
Coronavirus: Marc Miller defends prioritizing Indigenous communities in vaccine rollout – Feb 4, 2021

New Brunswick announced 16 more infections of the virus while Nova Scotia, P.E.I. and Newfoundland and Labrador both added one new case.

The Yukon and Northwest Territories did not report new infections during their daily updates Thursday, while Nunavut reported another two — both of which were identified in Arviat.

To date, a total of 104,838,900 people worldwide have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University. The tally has also marked over 2.28 million deaths from the virus, with the U.S., India and Brazil continuing to lead in both cases and fatalities.

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