There was sobering news for Canadians Thursday as public health officials in several provinces said they were coping with an increase in infections despite new restrictions and lockdowns.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau underscored the need to keep up with public health protocols as he announced that vaccines would arrive in Canada by Monday.
“The first 30,000 doses are expected to arrive on Canadian soil in just a few days. To all Canadians, if you’re feeling relieved and hopeful, you’re not alone, this is the good news we all need but remember this is only the first step in what will be a massive project over a long winter,” said Trudeau during a news conference in Ottawa Thursday evening.
Canada is not disclosing logistics or tracking information on the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine as it enters the country because of what officials say are “credible” security concerns.
But Trudeau stressed he does not believe there will be any disruptions as the vaccines make their way from Belgium to Canada.
The timeline on vaccines in Canada comes as several provinces — including Canada’s two largest, Quebec and Ontario — logged record cases of Covid-19 in recent days, with officials saying lockdowns in both Toronto and Montreal are having little effect.
Ontario released new modeling Thursday and confirmed that according to mobility data throughout the province, people are traveling outside their homes at close to normal levels and likely not limiting contacts as much as needed to stop the spread of the virus.
Montreal broke a single-day record Thursday with 648 new cases of Covid-19, a growth rate the city’s public health director called “alarming.”
“I know we’re all tired, but we need to make an effort,” said Dr. Mylène Drouin, Montreal’s public health director, during a news conference Thursday.