Covid Situation in Canada
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- 1 The beginning of Covid-19
- 1.1 How did Covid-19 break out in Canada?
- 1.2 Was Canada prepared for this outbreak?
- 1.3 What was Canada’s response to the escalating Covid situation?
- 1.4 Lockdown timeline in Canada
- 1.5 Treatment and Covid-19 Vaccine Information
The Covid-19, also known as Coronavirus, is an ongoing pandemic. This virus causes severe respiratory infections, including fever, chills, and other symptoms. Covid-19 is a virus that has evolved from a typical cold to SARS. This family of viruses is thought to have existed in animals for a long time.
The beginning of Covid-19
On 31st December 2019, China’s country officials alerted WHO of the country’s first case of pneumonia of unknown origin, which was discovered in Wuhan, Hubei, China. The human-to-human transmission was confirmed in these illnesses, just as it has been in SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV.
How did Covid-19 break out in Canada?
On 27th January 2020, the first instance of Covid 19 was recorded. A person tested positive for Coronavirus after returning from Wuhan to Toronto. By April 2020, the Canadian government had issued a statement predicting 11,000 to 22,000 fatalities due to the pandemic. Canada observed a peak in cases 127 days after the first case was recorded, with 35,040 active cases by 30th May 2020. With 4,143 cases on 17th July 2020, Canada experienced a decline in COVID cases, and the first Covid-19 wave ended.
Quebec, followed by Alberta, Ontario, Saskatchewan, British Columbia and Manitoba, were the most affected during the first wave.
Was Canada prepared for this outbreak?
According to the Edmonton Journal, Jitendra Prasad, the leader of Alberta Health Services, increased the purchases of PPE kits and placed an order for half a million N95 masks after learning about the cluster cases of pneumonia in Wuhan and when a new coronavirus was found.
On 17th January 2020, ten days before the first Covid case was confirmed in Canada, the CBSA (Canada Border Services Agency) announced plans to promote awareness of the virus in the airports of Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. In addition, health screening questions for travellers arriving from China had been included. Furthermore, the federal Ministry of Health was keeping an eye on anyone who showed indications of Covid. In addition, Canada had issued a travel warning to China for non-essential travel.
What was Canada’s response to the escalating Covid situation?
- On 30th January, when WHO declared Coronavirus as a public health emergency of international concern, Canada made a 14 days quarantine mandatory for people coming from China.
- Justin Trudeau, Canada’s Prime Minister, announced a $1 billion reaction fund, a $50 million commitment to the World Health Organization, and an extra $275 million to finance COVID-19 research in Canada in March 2020.
- Premier Doug Ford of Ontario declared a state of emergency in March, ordering the closure of indoor leisure centres, restaurants, libraries, theatres, and concert halls.
- In April, there was some worry about a lack of personal protective equipment, but production was swiftly scaled up. On 12th June 2020, the Canadian federal government made the screening for temperature checks for flight travellers.
The Canadian government was quick to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. It was determined that recovery from the infection was slow. Therefore, a lockdown was implemented across Canada to relieve the strain on healthcare services. Traditional public health efforts like surveillance, testing, and reserving emergency supplies to the territories were also part of the response. The healthcare and government administration was successful in flattening the first wave curve due to rigorous measures implemented by the government. However, as the cases started declining, states eased some restrictions, such as opening of the malls. Consequently, cases picked up speed again, culminating in a second wave.
Second Wave of Covid-19
The second wave of Covid began in Canada on 18th July 2020, when the number of active cases increased to 4,455. Following the same upward pattern as the previous wave, Canada witnessed a peak in Covid cases after 177 days, with 85,595 active cases recorded on 10th January 2021. Finally, on 4th March 2021, the second wave concluded with 29,907 active cases.
However, based on the experience in the initial wave and the increasing demand for appropriate PPE kits, the government requested its growing national and international supply chains to satisfy the needs.
Unfortunately, it was again after the lockdown restrictions began to be eased that the rise in cases really began and led to the spread of the third wave in Canada.
Third Wave of Covid-19
Likewise, the third wave of Covid in Canada reportedly started on 5th March 2021 with 30,139 active cases. However, this time Covid-19 cases reached its peak earlier than expected, within 45 days after the start, and active cases reached 89,884. The decline of this wave was reported on 22nd July 2021, with 4,513 active cases.
Lockdown timeline in Canada
- In March 2020, Canada closed its borders to international travel, and Ontario started shutting down. The gathering of more than 50 people was prohibited in Ontario. Quebec had likewise closed for non-essential companies by the end of March, following Ontario’s lead.
- The Quarantine Act was implemented by the RCMP in April 2020, with fines of up to $750,000 and six months in jail as punishment for violations.
- Parliament was also briefly halted for 5 weeks after passing Bill C-14 Covid-19 Emergency Response Act. Strict public health precautions were implemented for two months.
- After two months of strict lockdown, British Columbia began to reopen its economy. However, the country was under some form of lockdown when the second and third waves began to hit. The lockdown in the country dragged as the covid cases climbed in Canada during winters.
- The latest reports about the lockdown in Canada came during the third wave when the Canadian province of Ontario was announced to return to a lockdown, widening restrictions on stores, gyms, restaurants and hair salons for 28 days.
Treatment and Covid-19 Vaccine Information
- In summer 2020, the Canadian government acquired more than 75 million hypodermic needles and syringes in anticipation of the Covid-19 vaccination.
- In September 2020, AstraZeneca, the main Covid-19 vaccine manufacturer, agreed to supply 20 million vaccine doses to Canada.
- Health Canada authorized the Pfizer Covid vaccine in December 2020, and Pfizer committed to delivering 20 million doses in Canada. Due to a lack of cold storage, the first dosages were delivered to 14 locations, none of which were sent to Canada.
- In addition, NRC and ISED support for the Made-in-Canada vaccine and treatments for Covid-19 had reached the first stage for six vaccine candidates by February 2021. The PM of Canada spent $126 million developing and building the biomanufacturing plant in Canada.
- The Moderna vaccine, unlike Pfizer’s, does not require extreme cold storage, which is why it was able to send its initial shipment of 7,200 doses.
- In February, the Canadian Prime Minister announced a partnership with Novavax to manufacture covid-19 vaccines in Canada, making it the first to produce domestically. However, Health Canada has not yet approved this vaccination.
- On 3rd March 2021, the first shipment of 500,000 doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca landed in Canada.
- The initial agreement with Pfizer was for 8 million vaccinations to be delivered. Within 2 months, Canada got nearly 2 million vaccines in the month of May.
- A small volunteer organization known as Vaccine Hunters Canada developed a website, Twitter, and Facebook page to assist eligible Canadians to find immunizations in response to public discontent with varying vaccine booking systems around the country.
- Pfizer’s vaccination for teenagers aged 12 to 15 was authorized by Canadian health regulators on 5th May 2021, making Canada the first jurisdiction in the world to do so.
- By 22nd May 2021, half of Canada’s population had got vaccinated with the first dose.
- Currently, almost 61 per cent of Canada’s population is completely vaccinated.
Fourth Wave of Covid-19
On 23rd July 2021, 4,550 active instances of Covid were recorded in Canada, and on 14th August 2021, the statistics had risen to 16,506 active cases. The crest of this wave is yet unknown, and it will be proclaimed as time goes on. On the Canada.ca website, the government of Canada publishes daily Covid 19 updates.
Till 14th August 2021, a total of 1,451,969 cases of Coronavirus and 26,701 deaths were reported in Canada