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Canada introduces more restrictions as country passes 1mn coronavirus cases

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Canadians walk at an airport, wearing face masks as the pandemic surges. Photo: AFP

Canada has crossed the one million mark of coronavirus cases across the country, ramping up restrictions.

With 2,000 new cases of Covid-19 announced in British Columbia on Saturday evening, Canada topped one million cases since the start of the pandemic, according to figures reported by Canadian broadcasters.

Just over 23,000 people have died so far.

Canada is grappling with a third wave of cases amid the rapid spread of variants, which are more contagious.

The two most populous provinces, Ontario and Quebec, headed into the Easter weekend tightening public health measures.

Ontario, home to more than a third of Canada´s cases, stepped up restrictions for at least four weeks.

Non-essential businesses are held to 25% capacity, while others can accommodate 50% capacity.

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Sports venues and hair salons are closed, though schools remain open and residents have not been ordered to stay home.

The second worst-hit province, Quebec, strengthened restrictions in several regions while maintaining a nighttime curfew imposed in early January that is unprecedented in Canada.

Meanwhile, vaccinations have been slow to get off the ground.

An inoculation program launched in December has been plagued by delays in deliveries of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna doses from Europe. In addition, new age restrictions were imposed on the AstraZeneca jab, over safety concerns.

To date, 14.6% of the population has received at least one vaccine dose, according to the Covid-19 Tracker Canada website.


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