Trudeau calls to hold on for a few more weeks
Sylvie Claire / April 7, 2021
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged pandemic-weary Canadians on Tuesday to hang in there for a few more weeks while the ongoing vaccination campaign takes effect in the face of increasing variants of the virus
We're in a situation where everyone is exhausted, Trudeau said at a news conference. But we're in a third wave, which is extremely serious, he said. We need to continue to hold on for a few more weeks to really flatten the curve and allow the vaccines that are going to arrive by the millions in the coming weeks to take effect, he said. Canada, a country of 38 million people, passed the one-million-case mark on Saturday, forcing several provinces to tighten their restrictions in recent days. A little more than 23,000 people have died. Ontario, the country's economic engine and most populous province, tightened Saturday and extended to all its regions for four weeks restrictions previously in effect only in Toronto and its suburbs, while neighboring Quebec redefined several regions and extended a nightly curfew in some cities .
The increase in the number of variants, which has nearly tripled in the past two weeks, and the resulting hospitalizations are a growing concern, said Theresa Tam, the province's public health chief. More than 15,200 cases of the variants have been identified so far in Canada, with the largest numbers in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec. The British variant has likely replaced the original virus in some parts of the country, while the Brazilian variant, which may be more resistant to vaccines, is on the rise, she noted. Canada's vaccination campaign, launched in December, seems to be picking up speed in recent days, after numerous failures, notably in the delivery of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines earlier this year. To date, 15.7% of the Canadian population has received at least one dose of vaccine. We must all accelerate the vaccination process, agreed Justin Trudeau on Tuesday, recalling that Canada must receive 44 million doses by the end of June. All Canadians who want to will have received their two doses of vaccine by the end of September, he reiterated.