COVID-19 tests in Canada

People wearing face masks line up to have COVID-19 tests at a COVID-19 assessment center in Toronto, Canada, on Aug. 11, 2020. Courtesy Zou Zheng/Xinhua/IANS

Canadian health authorities have expressed serious concerns over the steady rise in the number of coronavirus cases across the country after more than 630 infections were reported on a daily basis in the past one week.

In a statement on Saturday, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) said that was more than 20 per cent higher than the previous week, and over 65 per cent higher compared with four weeks ago when an average of just over 380 cases was reported daily, reports Xinhua news agency.

The country has so far reported a total of 135,626 positive cases and 9,163 deaths.

Labs across Canada have tested an average of 47,806 people daily over the past week with 1.1 per cent testing positive, said PHAC.

The four most-affected provinces — Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta, are each reporting between 100 to more than 200 new cases per day, the agency said.

On Saturday, Quebec reported 244 new cases, the highest daily figure since the beginning of June, while Ontario confirmed an 232 infections, also the highest daily surge.

“Increasing daily case counts signify heightened disease activity that poses a risk for accelerated or ‘exponential’ epidemic growth to occur,” Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, said in the statement.

Meanwhile, Toronto opened a centre for those with Covid-19 who cannot self-isolate at home, a service the Canadian government said is open to other cities across the country.

Toronto reported 77 new cases in the province on Saturday, the highest single-day count since mid-June.

Lower-income neighbourhoods were disproportionately affected by Covid-19, in part because individuals living in these communities, once they tested positive, may have experienced difficulty to properly isolate themselves, Toronto Mayor John Tory said.

Source: IANS