Canada’s coronavirus cases surpass 460K as first vaccine shipments arrive

Cases of the novel coronavirus in Canada surpassed 460,000 amid news of the first shipment of the vaccine having arrived in the country Sunday.

Social media posts from Canadian officials announced the arrival of the first flight carrying the Pfizer-BionNTech vaccine Sunday evening.

“The first batch of doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine have arrived in Canada,” reads a part of Prime Minister Trudeau’s tweet announcing the arrival of the first shipment.

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“This is good news. But our fight against COVID-19 is not over. Now more than ever, let’s keep up our vigilance.”

A statement from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) confirmed earlier comments from Major-General Dany Fortin, who said that the first flights carrying the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine would arrive Sunday night.

“They’ll start arriving by tomorrow, for sure … some flights will arrive tonight, some will arrive tomorrow, some trucks will cross the border tomorrow. They’re all coming in the coming day or two,” Fortin said during an interview with CBC Sunday morning.

Read more: Canada’s 1st shipment of coronavirus vaccine to arrive Sunday evening

PHAC did not provide an exact timeline as to when the vaccines would arrive in Canada, but instead pointed to Fortin’s comments that their schedule for vaccine delivery was still being “refined” and was being monitored “on an hourly basis with UPS.”

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Sunday evening’s shipment is the first of an initial 30,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine to be spread across 14 distribution centres, according to the health agency. Since the vaccine was approved by Health Canada Wednesday, provincial health authorities have outlined their plans to distribute their doses — with most slated to begin with their at-risk or front-line health-care worker populations first.

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News of the vaccines’ arrival comes amid another 5,891 cases of the virus announced Sunday, pushing Canada’s total COVID-19 infections to 460,373.

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Another 81 deaths were reported by health authorities Sunday as well, raising the overall death toll from COVID-19 to 13,431. A total of 371,673 patients have since recovered from the virus, while over 16,221,000 tests have been administered.

Sunday’s cases mark the first time daily recorded infections dipped under 6,000 in over two weeks. The data does paint a limited picture of the virus’ spread across Canada however, as the provinces of B.C. and P.E.I as well as as both Yukon and Northwest Territories did not release new case figures Sunday.

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Quebec reported another 1,994 cases of the virus, pushing it’s COVID-19 caseload to 163,915. Another 33 deaths were also announced by health authorities there, of which 12 occurred in the past 24 hours.

Alberta set a grim new record Sunday with its highest ever increase in deaths. Health authorities there reported another 22 new virus-related deaths Sunday, as well as 1,717 more cases. Ontario added 1,677 cases and another 16 deaths as well.

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Saskatchewan added another 222 infections and Manitoba announced 273 more, with both provinces’ total infections standing at 11,971 and 21,023, respectively.

In Atlantic Canada, only New Brunswick and Nova Scotia reported new cases Sunday.

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N.B. reported another two cases, which pushed its total infections to 557. Nova Scotia added six more infections, increasing its active cases to 59.

Newfoundland and Labrador and Nunavut did not report any new cases in their update Sunday.

Cases of the novel coronavirus continue to increase worldwide with over 72,099,000 infections to date according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University. A total of 1,610,000 people have died from the virus as well, with the U.S., India and Brazil leading in both cases and deaths.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.