Quebec becomes fourth province to confirm more contagious COVID-19 variant

Canada surpasses 15000 COVID-19 deaths

Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé called on federal authorities Tuesday to step up efforts to screen tourists returning to the province from Mexico and other sun destinations for COVID-19 after he said he was shocked by news reports of Quebecers flouting public-health guidelines while partying overseas.

Officials also said 6,145 doses of COVID-19 vaccine were administered since December 24, for a total of 17,316 doses since the vaccinations began on December 14.

Canada surpassed 10,000 COVID-19 deaths on October 27 and passed the 5,000-mark on May 12.

The grim milestone was reached with the reporting of 37 new deaths in Quebec.

Cases of the coronavirus variant have already been detected in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta.

On Tuesday, Health Minister Chrisitan Dubé addressed the province once again and presented a bleak outlook on the COVID-19 situation in Quebec. One person was admitted into intensive care, for a total of 150.

Officials in Newfoundland and Labrador said one of the new infections relates to worldwide travel, while the other is a man who returned from working in Alberta. Laval was next, with 127 new cases, and 27,304 total.

"Non-essential travel is very risky right now", New Brunswick's chief medical officer of health, Dr. Jennifer Russell, said in a statement.

Over half of Canada's deaths happened in Quebec, where the virus has killed just over 8,000 people.

While the new variant was first detected in the United Kingdom, it has since spread to Australia, Japan and several European countries.

The Public Health Agency of Canada said while early data suggests the new variant may be more transmissible, there is no evidence the variant causes more severe symptoms or impacts vaccine effectiveness.



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