Speaking at a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced March 11, 2021 will be named a National Day of Observance to “honour everyone we lost to this terrible virus, and to recognize the impact this global pandemic has had on all our lives.”
“There are no words for the pain of losing someone you love. As a country we remember all those we lost, and we mourn with families and friends,” he said.
“To everyone who is grieving, we’re thinking of you and we’re there for you.”
The day of observance will mark one year since the World Health Organization officially declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.
To date, more than 841,000 people in Canada have recovered after testing positive for the disease, and over 2.5 million vaccines to protect against the virus have been administered.
Health Canada has approved four COVID-19 vaccines for use in the country.
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In December, the agency approved two mRNA vaccines — one from Moderna, the other from Pfizer-BioNTech.
Last month, a vaccine from AstraZeneca-Oxford was given the green light, and a candidate from Johnson & Johnson was granted approval last week.
So far, approximately 3.3 per cent of Canada’s population has received a vaccine to protect against the virus.
The federal government, though, has repeatedly promised that all Canadians who want a COVID-19 vaccine will have access to one by the end of September.
Hundreds of new cases in the provinces
In Ontario, 1,185 new cases and six more deaths were reported on Tuesday, while Quebec health officials said 650 more people have fallen ill and 12 more have died.
Health authorities in Saskatchewan said 112 more people have tested positive for COVID-19 and one more person has died.
Meanwhile, Manitoba added 62 new infections, but provincial officials said no one else has died.
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In Atlantic Canada, six new cases of the respiratory illness were reported.
Nova Scotia saw five new infections, while one more person has contracted the disease in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Neither province saw any fatalities related to the virus on Tuesday.
In New Brunswick, health authorities said one more person has tested positive for COVID-19, and one more person has died.
Prince Edward Island did not see any new cases or deaths.
In western Canada, more than 800 new cases were detected.
Albertan authorities said 255 more cases were reported, while six more people have died.
British Columbia health officials said 550 more people have fallen ill with COVID-19, and two more people have died.
No new cases or deaths were reported in any of Canada’s territories on Tuesday.
Global deaths top 2.6 million
Globally, 117,424,768 people have contracted the virus, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University.
So far, the virus has claimed 2,608,231 lives around the world.
The United States remains the viral epicentre of the coronavirus, with more than 29 million infections and over 527,000 fatalities.
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.