Canada sees surging new Covid-19 cases

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Canada reported 23,585 new Covid-19 cases, the first time to record more than 20,000 cases on a daily basis, elevating the cumulative total to 2,094,042 cases with 30,231 deaths, according to state news agency.

Daily cases have hit record high in Canada recently as the new Omicron variant of Covid-19 races out of control, keeping workers at home and overwhelming testing centres, Xinhua news agency reported.

Quebec province reported its highest daily Covid-19 case count on Wednesday with 13,149 new cases and 10 new deaths. The province’s cumulative total surged to 572,419 cases with 11,702 fatalities.

Meanwhile, hospitalisations continue to rise at a quicker pace in the province, with a net increase of 102 and seven more intensive care beds occupied by Covid-19 patients while the test positivity rate rose to 28 per cent, which means that more than one in four of all PCR tests in the province came back positive.

When the Omicron variant was discovered, the Quebec government said that 800 hospital beds across the province were reserved for Covid-19 patients in case of a major wave. On Wednesday, the province had a total of 804 patients in hospitals.

On Wednesday, the government listed the total hospital capacity for Covid-19 patients as 825 beds outside the ICU, and 210 ICU beds. It also reported that there was a total of 682 patients outside ICUs and 122 in ICUs.

Warning things are hitting a crisis point with hospital staffing, Quebec Health Minister Christian Dube said on Tuesday that some healthcare workers would be asked to return to work even after testing positive for the Covid-19 infection.

Overall, there were over 78,000 active cases of coronavirus across Quebec, an increase of about 9,000 cases over the last 24 hours.

The Quebec government has repeatedly admitted that the official case counts are undercounting the true total, since it is very hard to get a test in many parts of the province, and rapid tests are not part of the official count.

On Wednesday, Ontario province also reported a record-breaking 10,436 new cases and 15 additional deaths. Its cumulative whole soared to 725,841 cases with 10,171 deaths.

The seven-day average for the number of new cases reported in the province came to 9,183. This time last week, that number was 3,520 and two weeks ago it was 1,514.

The Ontario government has said that high case counts in recent days are likely an underestimate given the scarcity of PCR tests. The province’s latest positivity rate was 26.9 per cent, the highest since the pandemic began.

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