Canada saw 5,747 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday as the country pushing the total number of infections to 725,495.
Health authorities also said another 200 people have died after testing positive for COVID-19.
To date, the virus has claimed 18,462 lives in Canada.
However, since the pandemic began, 638,620 people have recovered after falling ill.
According to Health Canada, as of Thursday, 765,100 doses of the two approved coronavirus vaccines had been distributed for use across the Canada.
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In a series of tweets on Wednesday, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said while variants of the COVID-19 virus “remain limited,” recent cases involving individuals with no travel history suggest “community transmission may already be occurring in Canada.”
Health officials have been closely monitoring new strains of the virus first detected in the United Kingdom and South Africa.
“Although some #COVID19 virus variants appear to be more transmissible, which could accelerate the spread of COVID-19, we know that existing public health measures and individual practices are effective in preventing spread,” Tam wrote.
She said “strong, consistent efforts are needed” in order to stem the spread of the virus.
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Provinces see thousands of new cases
In Ontario, 2,655 new cases and 89 additional deaths were detected on Wednesday.
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The new infections and fatalities bring the total tallies in the province to 244,932 and 5,568, respectively.
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Meanwhile, in Quebec, 1,506 new COVID-19 cases were reported, pushing the total case load in the province to 247,236.
Sixty-six new deaths mean a total of 9,208 people have died in Quebec since the pandemic began.
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In Atlantic Canada, 24 new cases of the coronavirus were detected.
Health officials in Nova Scotia reported three new infections, while New Brunswick confirmed 21 new cases.
Newfoundland and Labrador did not see any new cases meaning the provincial case load remained at 396.
Prince Edward Island did not release any new COVID-19 data on Wednesday, but the latest numbers from Tuesday said 103 of the province’s 110 confirmed cases are considered to be resolved.
None of the Maritime provinces, or Newfoundland and Labrador, added any new fatalities.
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In Saskatchewan, 241 new cases brought the total number of infections to 21,112.
Four more deaths mean 226 have died in the province since the virus was first detected.
Health authorities in Manitoba said 154 more people have contracted the disease and six additional deaths have occurred.
To date, the province has seen 27,893 COVID-19 infections and 788 fatalities associated with the virus.
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In Western Canada, 1,169 new cases were detected.
Officials in Alberta said 669 more people have fallen ill, while British Columbia added 500 new infections.
Alberta also said another 21 people have died after testing positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of fatalities to 1,484.
Fourteen new deaths in British Columbia mean 1,104 people have now died in the province after contracting the coronavirus.
Health officials in the Northwest Territories said the region has seen 43 confirmed cases of the virus since the pandemic began.
Twelve of those case are from non-residents. The other 31 cases are from within the territory.
Neither the Yukon or Nunavut reported a new case or fatality on Wednesday.
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Global cases near 97 million
Since the pandemic began, a total of 96,787,591 people worldwide have been infected with COVID-19, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University.
The virus, first detected in Wuhan, China, has claimed 2,071,892 lives globally so far.
The United States remained the viral epicentre on Wednesday, with more than 24.4 million infections and over 405,000 deaths.
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