Canada reported over 7,000 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in a single day for the first time Thursday, marking a new daily milestone as infections continue to rise at a dizzying rate.
The 7,002 new infections nationwide came as Ontario hit a new record of daily cases, while Alberta saw its highest number of deaths in a single day since the pandemic began.
Many provinces are facing pressure to enact further measures to curb the spread of the virus, which has now infected 488,237 people to date nationwide. At the current rate of infection, the country is on track to surpass half a million cases by Saturday.
Nearly 3,500 people are receiving care for COVID-19 in hospital, a new record that is putting a strain on many provinces’ health-care systems. Doctors in Ontario are calling for shutdowns, warning of bed shortages and increased deaths from any further surge in patients.
Another 117 people died across the country over the past 24 hours, health officials said, bringing the national death toll to 13,916. The past week has seen an average of 115 people dying daily.
The bleak trends of the pandemic have coupled with the arrival of one vaccine, made by Pfizer-BioNTech, and the promise of more to come. A second vaccine from Moderna is anticipated to be approved by Health Canada by the end of the year.