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Canada recorded 4,248 new cases of coronavirus on Saturday, the most cases ever recorded in a single day in the country. The previous record was set two days earlier, with 3,922 cases recorded on Thursday.
The news comes as the world embraces the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. After initially peaking in May, the number of new coronavirus cases fell flat over the summer months, a trend exhibited in many nations across the world. Cases began to rise again in September.
Unlike the first wave of the virus, which hit hardest in Alberta, Quebec, and Ontario, the second wave appears to be having a broader impact on the country. Records are being set across provinces and territories, CTV News reports. Nunavut recorded its very first case of the virus on Friday.
According to University of Ottawa epidemiologist Raywat Deonandan, cases are spiking in the northern hemisphere in part due to changing weather patterns. As temperatures begin to drop, individuals are beginning to spend more time indoors where the virus spreads more easily.
In response to the surge in cases, some provinces have implemented severe restrictions. In Ontario, areas such as Toronto have seen their populations restricted from attending gyms, dining indoors at restaurants, and hosting more than ten people indoors at once. Outdoor events have also faced strict limitations on capacity despite the virus having significantly lower virility in outdoor settings.
In Vancouver, health authorities have imposed even stricter rules against social gatherings, temporarily banning anyone from hosting social gatherings involving anyone outside their immediate household. Travel into the city is also restricted.
Mississauga infectious disease expert Dr. Sumon Chakrabarti questions the wisdom of such lockdowns, pointing out that cases continue to rise in areas where restrictions have been imposed for weeks. "Maybe we're not addressing the problem with the restrictions," he told CTV News.
Experts believe that it takes up to two weeks for the results of lockdowns to be reflected in the numbers, yet over a month after stricter rules were imposed on certain parts of Ontario, case counts continue to climb without any sign of stopping.
"It's been over two weeks, and we're still seeing this rise," Dr. Chakrabarti said.