Canada says COVID-19 variants are boosting threat of a spring resurgence

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OTTAWA (Reuters) – A longer-range Canadian forecast shows new variants of COVID-19 will increase the threat of a spring resurgence unless enhanced public health measures are maintained, health officials said on Friday.

The comments were the latest from medical authorities across the country expressing concern that the new variants could trigger a third wave of the coronavirus.

The officials said new cases had steadily been slowing down in recent weeks. New modeling shows the domestic death toll could be between 21,510 and 22,420 by Feb. 28, with total cases ranging from 841,650 to 878,850.

“A new, longer-range forecast that includes variants of concern indicates a strong resurgence unless we have stringent measures and strict adherence,” chief medical officer Theresa Tam told a briefing.

The variants – which are more contagious than the most common form of the coronavirus – have been discovered in all 10 provinces, she said.

Canada has recorded a total of 21,498 deaths from COVID-19 and 837,497 cases.

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