Canada COVID-19 Updates: COVID-19 Cases Tops 200,000 As Canada Faces A More Aggressive Resurgence, Food Prices Rising
Canada COVID-19 Updates
: A more aggressive second wave of COVID-19 has hit Canada with total infected cases now topping over 200,000 COVID-19 cases and is nearing to 10,000 deaths according to official COVID-19 data compiled by Canadian broadcasters CBC and CTV.
What is also more concerning is that a few of the SARS-CoV-2 antibody resistant strains and also more aggressive and infectious strains that debuted in the United States are also now found circulating in Canada.
More than 80 percent of these cases and more than 90 percent of the deaths were recorded in the country's two most populous provinces, Ontario and Quebec, which has been the epicenter of the country's epidemic since it broke out in Canada last March.
It was reported that as of Monday afternoon, Canada had 200,039 cases and 9,772 dead with its two westernmost provinces still to report their updated tallies according to the public health data.
This roughly amounts to 532 cases per 100,000 people in the country of 38 million, or five times fewer than in the United States.
Both Quebec and Ontario, is witnessing a resurgence of the novel coronavirus and this has led once again to the closure of bars and restaurants, museums and concert halls, as well as gyms and sports venues.
Quebec continued to lead in new daily cases, reporting 1,038 cases and six more deaths Monday - the fourth consecutive day it has seen more than 1,000 new infections.
Ontario, meanwhile, reported 704 new cases and four new deaths.
The province has reinstated stricter health measures in four regions - Toronto, Peel Region, York Region and Ottawa - and Dr. David Williams, Ontario's top doctor, recommended against traditional Halloween activities in those areas.
Doug Ford. Ontario Premier on Monday recommended that children not go trick-or-treating door to door for Halloween in the hardest-hit areas, including Toronto and Ottawa.
He told a media during press conference, "We just cannot have hundreds of kids showing up at your door if you live in a hotspot."
Manitoba reported 80 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, nearly two thirds of them in Winnipeg, as new restrictions on gatherings and businesses took effect in that city. The new rules limit gatherings to five people and force casinos and bars to close, and will be reviewed in two weeks.
Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam said in a statement, “Across Canada, authorities have been trying to stem a crush on hospital resources including intensive care beds as the number of people experiencing severe illness is also increasing."
For safety purposes, the US and Canada on Monday extended a ban on non-essential travel between the neighboring countries to November 21 to limit the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday the situation in the United States continues to be of concern. "We'd love to have the border open, but we can't do that unless we're comfortable that Canadians are being kept safe."
What is described as the world's longest international border has been closed to nearly all type of crossings except goods trading since March 21, with the travel ban extended every month since then.
At present Canada has averaged 2,284 new cases of the novel coronavirus and 20 deaths per day, figures that have increased significantly since September with the return to school and work for millions of Canadians after a summer break.
Unfortunately community transmission of the virus has made it more difficult to detect and trace new cases, while about 2.4 percent of the approximately 77,000 tests carried out each week are positive.
Meanwhile Canada is witnessing a step rise in food prices.
The era of cheap food in Canada is over, according to a leading food distribution researcher also known as Canada’s Food Professor.
Sylvain Charlebois, who founded the Agri-food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University in Halifax commented, “That is what is happening now, COVID-19 is accelerating this pace,” Charlebois said food discounting at grocery stores has virtually disappeared since the coronavirus pandemic began in March. He predicts a trend toward higher food prices will continue.
Charlebois said. “We’ve been spoiled as consumers.”
Last year, Charlebois forecast a four per cent increase in food prices. He hinted that he will be forecasting at least that amount of food price inflation for 2021 when he releases his annual price report for next year in December.
He predicted grocers will shutter between 300 to 400 stores in the next year while bolstering their online grocery store offerings.
He added, “If you are a consumer you can expect to pay five-to-seven per cent more, compared to if you went to the store to pick your own food,” explaining the industry is struggling to determine how best to permanently pass those costs on to shoppers.
He said, “We are hard-wired to chase bargains,” pointing out the challenges for consumers who are left to decide how to buy their groceries during a pandemic.
Charlebois said, It’s harder to find deals.”
Interestingly at a time when many Canadians worry about the price and supply of food, Charlebois said there is a serious shortage of workers in food processing plants: 28,000 jobs need to be filled, roughly 12 per cent of the industry, he said.
He further added, “The food industry needs you,” calling on unemployed, able-bodied persons to consider a job at a processing plant, which pays in the order of $24 an hour.
He said that despite having fewer employees at various locations, there likely won’t be any significant product shortages this winter.
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