Ottawa, Sep 15 (IANS) Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged Canadians to remain vigilant of the risk of a second economic lockdown as COVID-19 cases grow across the country.
Speaking to reporters before a two-day closed-door cabinet meeting in Ottawa on Monday, Trudeau expressed concerns about the rising numbers, Xinhua news agency reported.
“We are not out of the woods,” Trudeau said. “The last thing anyone wants is to go into this fall in a lockdown similar to this spring. The way we can prevent that is by remaining vigilant.”
Trudeau added that his cabinet meeting will focus on continuing to keep COVID-19 under control and to make sure that Canadians are safe.
Daily COVID-19 case numbers have fluctuated across Canada in recent weeks. Ontario, Alberta, Quebec and British Columbia are seeing increased cases.
Ontario reported 313 cases Monday morning, the highest single-day increase in cases since June 7. It was also a significant jump from the 204 cases reported a day earlier.
Canadian Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam said Monday that the current spread of COVID-19 is different from the first wave.
“What we’re experiencing right now is quite different from the initial escalation and that wave going up. What we have seen in the last weeks has been a slow but steady growth in cases, in particular the four big provinces, British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec,” Tam said.
“So it’s not like this is a very rapid sort of escalation or the exponential growth that we had at the start of the first wave. At the moment, that means that we can do everything that we can to continue these sort of learned, effective public health measures personally, but also as a community, to keep things at a manageable level.”
She said the next two weeks will be an important indicator in where Canada is in the pandemic.
Tam also said the rise in cases coincides with the coming flu season, which typically sends many Canadians to emergency rooms across the country. While the public health measures in place for COVID-19 might help reduce the number of flu cases, she urged people to get the flu vaccine shot.
There have been 136,659 cases of COVID-19 in Canada, including 9,171 deaths, the Public Health Agency of Canada announced Monday.
Labs across Canada tested 47,806 people daily over the past week, with 1.1 per cent testing positive. An average of 618 new cases were reported daily during the most recent seven days, said the agency.