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Canada, amid a second wave of COVID-19 diseases, topped 200,000 cases and approached 10,000 deaths on Monday, according to official data from Canadian broadcasters CBC and CTV.

Roughly 80 percent of these cases and more than 90 percent of deaths were recorded in the country’s two most populous provinces, Ontario and Quebec, which have been the epicenter of the epicenter of the country since it broke out in Canada last March.

As of Monday afternoon, Canada had 200,039 cases and 9,772 deaths – with the two westernmost provinces yet to report their updated numbers, according to public health reports.

That’s 532 cases per 100,000 people in the country of 38 million, or five times fewer than the United States.

In Quebec and Ontario, a resurgence of the novel coronavirus again led to the closure of bars and restaurants, museums and concert halls, as well as gyms and sports facilities.

Ontario Prime Minister Doug Ford on Monday recommended that children in the hardest hit areas, including Toronto and Ottawa, should not go door-to-door on Halloween.

“We just can’t have hundreds of kids at your door when you live in a hotspot,” he told a press conference.

Authorities across Canada have tried to curb the hospital’s resources, including intensive care beds, as “the number of people with serious illnesses is also increasing,” Theresa Tam, chief public health officer, said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the U.S. and Canada on Monday extended a ban on unnecessary travel between neighboring countries until November 21st to help limit the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The longest international border in the world has been closed to almost all types of crossings except for trade since March 21. Since then, the travel ban has been extended every month.

Canada has recorded an average of 2,284 new cases of the novel coronavirus and 20 deaths per day. Those numbers have risen significantly since September with the return to school and work for millions of Canadians after a summer break.

Community transmission of the virus has made it more difficult to identify and track new cases, while about 2.4 percent of the roughly 77,000 tests done weekly are positive.

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© 2020 AFP

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