Ottawa, Dec 19 | Canada’s single-day coronavirus cases are expected to top the 500,000 mark on Saturday as the country saw an increase of 4,671 new cases the previous day, bringing the national infection tally to 493,309.
Meanwhile, the coronavirus deaths rose to 14,004, reports Xinhua news agency.
Canada reported 7,008 new coronavirus cases for the first time on Thursday although the country had strengthened measures against the virus spread amidst a second wave of the pandemic.
The national average case count has been over 6,650 cases reported daily over the last seven days, the Public Health Agency of Canada said on Friday.
“With ongoing high rates of infection in many areas of the country, the number of people experiencing severe illness continues to increase,” the agency said.
Over the past week, there have been on average almost 4,000 infected individuals being treated in Canadian hospitals, including 650 in critical care, and 115 deaths reported each day.
“At this time, it is also crucial for us to continue with individual efforts to protect our families, friends and communities against Covid-19,” added the agency.
Also on Friday, Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, announced stricter restrictions for its five regions, including for Hamilton, which will go into lockdown on Monday.
The Ontario government also announced that Toronto and Peel Region will remain in lockdown until at least January 4.
The lockdowns in Toronto and Peel Region were set to expire on Monday, but have been extended due to the rising number of new cases.
Nearly all non-essential businesses are forced to close when a region goes into the lockdown level.
As hospitalisations for Covid-19 continue to rise in another populous province of Quebec, beds are being set up in “unconventional” places like hotel rooms and reception halls in the province, the provincial government said.