Canada is facing the wraths of the third COVID19 wave at present. Experts believe that soon the country might outpace the US in terms of the rising number of new infections compared to its overall population. The country has been reporting significant outbreaks linked to deadly strains of COVID19 that are more contagious as compared to the original one. These new variants might be vaccine-resistant as well, said the experts. The new trend of COVID19 in Canada is so niggling that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has revised Canada’s travel advisory and kept it at level 4 that is the highest possible risk category. The officials have included a warning saying that even fully vaccinated people should not keep their health at risk by traveling north of the US border.
These revisions have come up on the same day; the CDC has issued new travel guidelines for vaccinated people. In the new travel guidelines, the agency has earlier stated that vaccinated people can safely travel anywhere in the country. Now the federal agency has updated its guidelines saying that due to the third COVID19 wave in Canada, even fully immunized people might be at risk of contracting and spreading COVID19 strains. The officials have clearly said that people should avoid traveling to Canada at present. Experts have said that if travel to Canada is unavoidable, people should be fully vaccinated before travel. They have said that people should always wear masks during the travel and stay in Canada. They should follow social distancing and maintain hand hygiene as well.
Health experts have said that since the pandemic has started, The Great White North has been able to maintain its case counts relatively low while the health crisis has kept growing in the US. Experts are trying to know what might have led to rising cases in Canada now. The pandemic situation in the US is finally getting better with the nationwide vaccine rollout plan. The US government has secured an ample supply of the COVID19 vaccine. On the other hand, vaccination efforts in the northern border have been lagging. The US has been able to vaccinate at least 19 percent of its population with two doses of the vaccine. While Canada has been able to inoculate only two percent of its population with full doses of vaccine so far. As per the report, the US has vaccinated nearly one-third of its population with the first dose of the vaccine.
On the other hand, only 16 percent of people have been given the first dose of the vaccine in Canada. The data from John Hopkins University have shown that the US has been witnessing around 196 daily new COVID19 cases per one million people and Canada has been reporting around 180 new COVID19 cases per one million people per day. Dr. Noel Gibney, who is a professor emeritus in the faculty of medicine from the University of Alberta, has said that it is almost inevitable that Canada will be outdoing the US in terms of community spread in the next few days.
The officials have blamed new emerging strains that are more infectious and deadly for leading to the third COVID19 wave in Canada. Health experts have said that the data have shown that Canada is one of few countries in the world that is fighting major outbreaks of three different strains at the same time. They believe that the UK strain that is known as B.1.1.7 variant has almost replaced the original variant in Alberta. The P1 variant that has been found in Brazil for the first time is also circulating in Canada. In Brazil, the P1 variant has reinfected those who have been infected with the virus initially and recovered from COVID19. Experts have said that the variant might be vaccine-resistant.
The South African variant that is known as B.1.351 as well has been spreading in Canada. After people from the US have been warned against traveling to Canada, health officials in Canada as well have advised people to avoid non-essential travel within the country. However, health authorities in Canada believe that strict travel restrictions might not help prevent the community spread of these highly contagious strains at this point. Ashleigh Tuite, who is an infectious disease expert and assistant professor at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health, has said that these variants are now widespread, therefore, preventing the spread of these strains might not be possible now.