New modelling shows Canada could reach grim COVID-19 milestone by April

Public Health Agency of Canada

Theresa Tam says people need to remain vigilant.

Canada's daily COVID-19 case counts have gone up by 30 per cent over the past two weeks. Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting, begins April 13.

All six provinces west of the Atlantic region are now experiencing, or likely to experience, a resurgence in cases "in the coming days and weeks", she noted, adding that jurisdictions need to clamp down on rapid spread quickly. "(It's) not the time".

"We are determined to continue our momentum forward with regard to vaccine imports and supply for all Canadians", MacKinnon said. "Out of which 14,07,520 beneficiaries were vaccinated for the first dose and 1,12,591 HCWs and FLWs received the second dose of vaccine as per the provisional report", the ministry said, adding that final reports would be completed for the day by late night.

"We are closing in on 10 million doses administered in Texas, and we want to keep up the momentum as the vaccine supply increases", said Imelda Garcia, DSHS associate commissioner for laboratory and infectious disease services and the chair of the Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel.

"Given the profound period of global demand for vaccine, there will continue to be bumps along the way..."

At the same time, public health experts in the U.S. are warning at every opportunity that relaxing social distancing and other measures could easily lead to another surge. "This is becoming a joke", said Ford.

"I emphasize how we need to hang in there for just a little while longer", Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Wednesday.

Anand also said Moderna has upped its delivery frequency from every three weeks to every two weeks, and reiterated that "at least" one million Pfizer-BioNTech shots will be arriving in Canada every week through the end of May.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been more than 951,500 COVID-19 cases and 22,790 deaths in Canada. And PHAC warns that case counts could rise to 12,000 cases per day if Canadians let down their guard.

But more transmissible variants now account for a high proportion of new cases, health officials said.

She points out variants of concern are circulating in most provinces outside the Atlantic region, and encourages everyone to stop any unnecessary contact with people outside your household.

Quebec reopened gyms in parts of the province on Friday, and places of worship in those areas are allowed once again to welcome up to 250 people indoors.

Tam says there's "merit" in provinces taking regional approaches with their restrictions, but notes that "up-and-down measures" may not be the best way to combat spread. "If there are detections that this activity is ramping up, then definitely don't relax".

"It is important to remember that although severe illness is less common in younger age groups, serious or prolonged illness can occur at any age, and there are emerging concerns about increasing severity of the B.1.1.7 variant in adults".

"These vaccines work. We're seeing it in the data", Dr Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, said this week.