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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday called on Canadian provinces to step up public health measures as an accelerating vaccination program fails to keep pace with rising coronavirus infections.

“Stricter measures are needed in several places around the country to contain the spread of the virus,” he said at a news conference after Ontario issued a stay at home order and Quebec tightened restrictions.

But Alberta, leading the country in new cases per capita, has been more passive and is only now closing bars and restaurants.

“We must do everything we can to combat this third wave,” said Trudeau, announcing that the Canadian Red Cross will continue to support seniors in 27 nursing homes hit hard by the Ontario pandemic through September.

Canada began rolling out vaccines in December, but these stalled as early deliveries were delayed. Only now is it starting to hit a September target and get shots in the arms of all Canadians.

There are now more than 25,000 cases of the more contagious COVID-19 variants reported since the beginning of the year, mostly in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.

On Friday, two days after Ontario announced a lockdown through late April, 4,249 new cases were reported – the second highest number since the outbreak began.

Quebec, which moved the start of its nightly curfew to 8:00 p.m. 90 minutes earlier, recorded 1,683 new cases.

Millions of new vaccine doses have arrived in the past week. To date, 17.6 percent of the population have received at least one dose, according to COVID-19 Tracker Canada.

Overall, Canada has seen more than a million cases of coronavirus and more than 23,000 deaths since the pandemic began in March 2020.

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© 2021 AFP

Quote: Trudeau urges regions of Canada to tighten COVID restrictions (2021, April 10), released on April 11, 2021 from -covid.html were retrieved

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