Canada detects first coronavirus variant cases

MONTREAL (AFP) – The first two cases of a particularly infectious coronavirus variant that recently emerged in Britain have been confirmed in Canada, health authorities said Saturday (Dec 26).

“The cases are a couple from Durham with no known travel history, exposure or high-risk contacts,” the acting chief medical officer for Ontario said in a statement.

“This further reinforces the need for Ontarians to stay home as much as possible and continue to follow all public health advice, including the province-wide shutdown measures beginning today,” Dr Barbara Yaffe, Ontario’s associate chief medical officer, said.

The couple have been placed in isolation, according to the statement, the same day that Ontario re-imposed a lockdown for several weeks due to a spike in Covid-19 cases.

Last week, Canada extended to Jan 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.

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