Canada: Canada adds 3,239 new coronavirus cases as deaths top 21K

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Across Canada, 3,239 new cases of the novel coronavirus were detected on Wednesday, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 814,041.

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Provincial health authorities also confirmed 95 more people have died after testing positive for COVID-19.

So far, the disease has claimed 21,004 lives in Canada.

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In a series of tweets on Wednesday, Canada's Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam, warned of the danger of the new, more transmissible variants of the coronavirus.

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She said while most of the new variant cases in the country have been linked to travel, "there is evidence of community spread in at least 3 provinces and links to outbreak activity in long term care homes & other congregate settings, including a workplace."

Tam said the "risk of losing our hard won progress" in slowing the spread of the virus "is very real."

She said Canadians must be "hyper vigilant" with public health measures while we wait for vaccines to become available.

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However, Canada has struggled to provide a steady stream of vaccines to the provinces and territories, after shipments from both Pfizer and Moderna were delayed.

According to Health Canada, as of Feb. 4, 1,198,200 vaccine doses had been distributed across Canada.

Of those, 1,153,989 have been administered to date, meaning approximately 1.54 per cent of Canadians have been vaccinated against the virus.

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But, speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada is set to receive "tens of thousands" of Pfizer vaccine doses in the coming weeks.

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Trudeau also said Canada is “still very much on track” to receive “tens of millions of doses into the spring," and reitereated that all Canadians who would like a vaccine will have access to one by the end of September.

Provinces, territories report new cases

In Ontario, 1,072 new cases and 41 new fatalities were reported.

The new infections mean to date, a total of 281,566 people have contracted the virus in Ontario, while 6,596 have died.

Meanwhile, 989 new cases in Quebec bring the provincial total to 272,726.

Health authorities also said 34 more people have died after testing positive for the virus, bringing the number of COVID-19 related fatalities in Quebec to 10,112.

In Saskatchewan, 180 new cases of COVID-19 were detected, and provincial health authorities said two more people have died.

To date, the province has recorded 25,843 coronavirus infections and 348 fatalities.

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Fifty-nine new cases of the virus were reported in Manitoba on Wednesday, for a total of 30,471.

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Health officials also said six more people have died, pushing the provincial death toll to 859.

In Atlantic Canada, 68 new cases were detected.

Newfoundland and Labrador health officials said 53 more people have fallen ill, while 14 new cases were detected in New Brunswick.

Nova Scotia added one new infection, for a total of 1,588.

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Prince Edward Island did not release any new COVID-19 data on Wednesday, however, the latest numbers released on Tuesday said the province has seen 114 confirmed cases of the virus, 110 of which are considered recovered.

Meanwhile, in western Canada, 808 more cases and 12 new fatalities were reported.

Health authorities in British Columbia said 469 more people have contracted the disease, and six more have died.

To date, the province has seen 71,856 COVID-19 infections and 1,269 fatalities.

In Alberta, another 339 have fallen ill, pushing the total case load in the province to 127,570.

Six more deaths means to date 1,728 people have died after testing positive for COVID-19.

Both the Northwest Territories and Nunavut each reported one new case of the virus on Wednesday.

Global infections surpass 107 million

Globally, the total number of people who have contracted the coronavirus has topped 107 million.

By 6 p.m. ET, 107,223,174 had tested positive for the virus, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University.

Since the virus was first detected in China in late 2019, it has killed 2,350,316 people around the world.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government will extend benefit programs aimed at cushioning the blow of the COVID-19 pandemic, so people can claim them for more weeks. Labour groups have warned that workers in the hardest-hit industries will likely still be unemployed when they max out the aid available.

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