SINCE the start of the pandemic, there have been 1,404,093 cases of COVID-19 and 25,972 deaths reported in Canada.
Dr. Theresa Tam, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, said in a statement on Wednesday that these cumulative numbers tell us about the overall burden of COVID-19 illness to date.
She added: “They also tell us, together with results of serological studies, that a large majority of Canadians remain susceptible to COVID-19. However, as vaccination programs expand at an accelerated pace, there is increasing optimism that widespread, stronger and longer lasting immunity can be achieved by fully vaccinating a high proportion of Canadians over the coming weeks and months.”
Tam said: “As immunity is still building up across the population, public health measures and individual precautions remain crucial for COVID-19 control. Thanks to public health measures in place and people across Canada continuing with individual precautions, the strong and steady declines in disease trends continues, with reported active cases down by 83% since the peak of the third wave in Canada.
“The latest national-level data show a continued downward trend in disease activity with an average of 1,240 cases reported daily during the latest 7-day period (June 9-15), down 29% compared to the week prior. Until vaccine coverage is sufficiently high to impact disease transmission more broadly in the community, we must sustain a high degree of caution to drive infection rates down to a low, manageable level, and not ease restrictions too soon or too quickly where infection rates are high.”
Tam said that with the considerable decline in infection rates nationally, the overall number of people experiencing severe and critical illness is also steadily declining. Provincial and territorial data indicate that an average of 1,537 people with COVID-19 were being treated in Canadian hospitals each day during the most recent 7-day period (June 9-15), which is 21% fewer than last week. This includes, on average 694 people who were being treated in intensive care units (ICU), 18% fewer than last week. Likewise, the latest 7-day average of 24 deaths reported daily (June 9-15) is continuing to decline, showing a 24% decrease compared to the week prior.
Tam notde: “Overall, variants of concern (VOCs) represent the majority of recently reported COVID-19 cases across the country. Four VOCs (B.1.1.7 (Alpha), B.1.351 (Beta), P.1 (Gamma), and B.1.617.2 (Delta)) have been detected in most provinces and territories. While the Alpha variant continues to account for the majority of genetically sequenced variants in Canada, we are observing an increase in the Delta variant in some parts of Canada. As Canada continues to monitor and assess genetic variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, including impacts in the Canadian context, we know that vaccination, in combination with public health and individual measures, are working to reduce spread of COVID-19.”