As Canada embraces the holiday season amid
concern over the omicron variant of the coronavirus, the country’s health
department has predicted a sharp rise in fresh cases in January. Canada,
however, is hoping that high vaccination rates would greatly reduce severe

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The COVID-19 infection rate has been gradually
increasing in Canada. Between December 3 and 9, the country reported an average
of 3,450 new cases, which is an increase of 22 per cent over the previous week.
Due to the increasing transmission, there are possibilities that Canada could
see another Delta-driven wave, while an omicron wave could make matters worse.

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In a statement, released on the government website,
Canada’s chief public health officer Dr Theresa Tam said, “if spread of the
omicron variant were to accelerate and replace the Delta variant as the
predominant variant in Canada” then it was “possible” there could be an “even
more rapidly accelerating resurgence in cases”. There have, so far, been 87
cases of confirmed infection related to the omicron variant.

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“Despite the challenges ahead with the
continuing Delta-driven wave in Canada and emergence of the Omicron variant, we
have more and better protections going into this holiday and winter season than
previously,” she added.

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A wide vaccine rollout and extensive
coverage, “continue to give us an advantage over this virus, and while some
reduction in protection is possible with the Omicron variant, Covid-19 vaccines
are still expected to provide a level of protection, particularly against
severe outcomes”, Dr Theresa said.

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In Canada, 81 per cent population has
received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 76 per cent are fully
vaccinated. Among the children, 17 per cent between 5 and 11 have been
administered one dose of an mRNA vaccine. In addition, booster doses have also
commenced, and a wider population will be covered in January.