Canada confirms two cases of coronavirus variant first seen in UK

WION Web Team
Ontario, Canada Published: Dec 27, 2020, 08:30 AM(IST)

Coronavirus in Canada Photograph:( Reuters )

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Scientists say the variant is about 40%-70% more transmissible than the original strain. Several other countries, including Australia, Italy and the Netherlands say they detected cases of the new strain.

Health officials in Canada's Ontario have said that two confirmed cases of the new coronavirus variant first detected in the United Kingdom have appeared in the province.

Scientists say the variant is about 40%-70% more transmissible than the original strain. Several other countries, including Australia, Italy and the Netherlands say they detected cases of the new strain.

The Canadian cases, identified in a couple in southern Ontario with no known travel history, exposure or high-risk contact, came as the province went into a lockdown on Saturday.

Ontario reported 4,301 new cases over the past two days on Saturday, with the province seeing more than 2,000 cases per day for 12 consecutive days.

Last week, Canada extended to January 6 a ban on passenger flights arriving from Britain and expanded enhanced screening and monitoring measures to travellers arriving from South Africa, citing the rise of the more infectious variant.

Scientists say there is no evidence that vaccines currently being deployed - including one made by Pfizer and BioNtech - or other COVID-19 shots in development will not protect against this variant.

Canada began rolling out the Pfizer vaccine earlier this month and started distributing Moderna Inc's COVID-19 vaccine across the country last Thursday.

Canada has so far reported 541,616 cases of COVID-19, including 14,800 deaths.

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