Canada adds 4,889 new coronavirus infections as global cases near 60 million

Canada added 4,889 new novel coronavirus infections on Wednesday, bringing the country’s total case count to 342,132.
Health authorities also said another 97 have died after contracting COVID-19, pushing the total death toll to 11,618.

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A total of 2,218 people in Canada remain hospitalized after contracting the respiratory illness, while 273,391 have recovered after becoming sick.

Read more: Two shots. A waiting period. Why the coronavirus vaccine won’t be a quick fix

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the government has secured a deal with Eli Lilly to secure up to 26,000 doses of the pharmaceutical company’s therapeutic drug to treat COVID-19 patients.

“To keep Canadians safe, we need access to as many potential vaccines and treatments as possible,” he said.

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Trudeau added that Canada will have the option to purchase thousands more doses.

The prime minister also said Canada has signed “strong contracts” with various vaccine companies, adding that the government is “working closely with allies on ensuring that there is a free flow of delivery of contracts.”

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Coronavirus: Canada’s top doctor says implementation of rapid tests up to provinces, territories

Trudeau said the leaders of the G20 nations discussed equitable access to a potential COVID-19 vaccine during the virtual summit last weekend.

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“It’s really important to ensure that everyone gets access to vaccines around the world because no one place gets through COVID-19 until all places are done with COVID-19,” he said.

New cases in the provinces

In Ontario, 1,009 new cases were detected on Wednesday. The province also saw 14 new fatalities, bringing the death toll to 3,519.

Meanwhile, Quebec saw 1,124 new infections and 45 new deaths, pushing the total case count and death toll to 134,330 and 6,887, respectively. 

Between Manitoba and Saskatchewan, 646 new infections were reported.

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Manitoba saw 471 new cases and 12 new deaths, while Saskatchewan added 175 new COVID-19 infections.

However, health officials said no one else had died.

In Atlantic Canada, 44 new coronavirus infections were reported.

Read more: ‘Behaviour changed’: Emergency hospital visits fell 50% in early days of pandemic

Nova Scotia added a record 37 new cases, while New Brunswick saw five new infections.

Newfoundland and Labrador saw two new cases, while Prince Edward Island did not report any new infections.

None of the Maritime provinces reported any new fatalities related to the respiratory illness.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney declared a state of public health emergency on Wednesday, as 1,115 new cases and 16 additional deaths were reported.

The province is implementing more stringent measures for three weeks in order to stem the spread of the virus, including banning indoor social gatherings and expanding the holiday school break.

Meanwhile, British Columbia added 941 new COVID-19 infections, marking a new daily record.

Health officials in the province also said 10 more people have died.

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Cases rise in Nunavut

Ten new cases were detected in Nunavut on Wednesday, but health officials said no one else has died.

The new cases push the territory’s total case load to 144. So far, only two of those cases are considered to be recovered.

Read more: For Canadians living abroad, a COVID-19 Christmas means difficult decisions

Neither the Yukon or Northwest Territories saw a new case or death related to the virus on Wednesday.

Global cases near 60 million

The total number of novel coronavirus infections around the world hovered below 60 million on Wednesday.

By 6 p.m. ET, there were a total of 59,597,658 confirmed cases of the virus globally, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University.

So far, the virus has killed 259,372 Americans.

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