Canada has seen a 30 per cent decrease in active COVID-19 cases, compared to two weeks ago, with less than 48,000 active cases across the country at the moment.
Over the past seven days, there has been an average over 3,947 new COVID-19 cases reported daily.
“As case counts continue to decline [many] provinces reported over 15 per cent fewer cases compared to last week,” Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer said at a press conference on Friday. “This is definitely good news for some of the most heavily impacted areas of the country but there is still reason for caution, as some areas saw more modest reductions or small increase in activity.”
“Even with a steady two-week decline, case counts are still about double what they were at the peak of the first wave so the easing of restrictions will need to be done gradually and cautiously.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reinforced that both Moderna and Pfizer will deliver a total of six million COVID-19 vaccine doses combined by the end of March.
“People are worried, people are tired of this pandemic, they want to know when this winter’s going to be over, they want to know when they can go back to everything they’ve done before,” Trudeau said. “They want to know, mostly, when their grandparents are going to be safe, when the vaccines are going to come.”
“There’s a lot of anxiety and there’s a lot of noise going on right now. That’s why I want to reassure Canadians that we are on track.”
On Thursday, Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, the vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada and head of the country's vaccine distribution efforts, confirmed that 180,000 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Canada this week, less than the 230,000 doses originally expected.
Maj.-Gen. Fortin said a total of 70,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are expected to arrive next week, scaled up to 335,000 doses of the week of Feb. 15 and 395,000 doses in the last week of February.
When asked if there are any penalties that have been outlined if Pfizer and Moderna do not deliver their four million and two million vaccine doses, respectively, the prime minister just reiterated that he has had direct conversations with the CEOs of the two companies and Trudeau has been “repeatedly reassured” that the vaccine doses will arrive, as promised, by the end of March.
“We are very much on track, those doses will begin to accelerate and come in in the hundreds of thousands in the coming weeks to ensure that we hit those targets for the end of March,” the prime minister said.