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Trudeau warns Canada faces deadly COVID third wave; Officials toughen lockdown measures
The situation is particularly serious in Ontario, Canada's most populated province.
Canada is scrambling to deal with a punishing third wave of the pandemic as several provinces have broken records for new daily cases of Covid-19 and hospital and ICU admissions.
"Canada continues to face an incredibly serious situation with this third wave, cases are rising rapidly in many cases, in many places, numbers are higher than they have ever been before and many hospitals are stretched way too thin," said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said during a press conference Friday in Ottawa.
He said the situation was particularly grave in Ontario, with Toronto now seeing records shattered and hospital beds filling up.
Ontario broke more pandemic records Friday for daily cases, hospitalizations and intensive care admissions.
"There is every reason to believe that we're now in the final although toughest stretch of this pandemic, this is not the moment to let up, not even for a second," said Trudeau adding "This is the moment for us to dig deep at what is hopefully the very late stages of this pandemic for us all."
There was a 35% increase in hospitalizations and a more than 20% increase in ICU admissions in the last week alone, public health officials said. More worrying is the 38% increase in deaths in the last week, they said.
"Notice that our hospitals can no longer function normally, they are bursting at their seams," said Dr. Adalsteinn Brown, Ontario's science advisory co-chair. "We're setting up field hospitals and we're separating critically ill patients from their families by helicoptering them across the province for care, our children's hospitals are now admitting adults as patients. This has never happened in Ontario before, it's never happened in Canada before,"
Based on new pandemic projections, demand for acute care is expected to spike in the weeks to come no matter how many more restrictions are put in place, Brown said.