Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Jan. 24

Canada's chief public health officer says the country is in a "critical" stage of the COVID-19 pandemic and is urging Canadians to not let up.

Canada is at a 'critical point' in the pandemic, says chief public health officer

A person wears a face mask in Montreal on Sunday. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)

The latest:

Canada's chief public health officer says the country is in a "critical" stage of the COVID-19 pandemic and is urging Canadians not to let up.

"At this stage of the pandemic, many of us are experiencing mental fatigue and exhaustion, which is certainly normal and expected," Dr. Theresa Tam said in a statement on Sunday.

"The past year has been challenging and a lot has been asked of Canadians — to stay home, wear a mask, limit gatherings and adopt new ways of living and working, among others."

Tam compared the pandemic to a marathon and said Canada is at "a critical point in the race."

"We are partway through, but with the current momentum of the epidemic and continued high rates of infection in many areas of the country, now is the time to strengthen our resolve, regroup and make sure that we have the stamina to keep our pace and make it across the finish line," she said.

Tam also continued to urge Canadians to follow public health guidelines on wearing masks, physical distancing and frequent handwashing, saying they play a vital role in curbing the spread of more transmissible coronavirus variants.

"With vaccines rolling out in Canada and across the world, I am hopeful that the finish line will soon be in sight," Tam said. "Together we can win this race."

Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau says the federal government won't rule out invoking the federal Emergencies Act to limit travel.

"We are looking at all potential actions to make sure that we can achieve our aims. The Emergencies Act is something you don't consider lightly," Garneau said in a Sunday interview on Rosemary Barton Live.

"But we are first and foremost concerned about the health and safety of Canadians. And if we can do that in a way that we have the regulatory power to do it, we will do it."

WATCH | Garneau says not ruling out using Emergencies Act to limit travel:

Foreign affairs minister says he would not rule out using the Emergencies Act to limit travel

Rosemary Barton Live

3 months ago
Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau tells Rosemary Barton Live the federal government is actively discussing further measures to limit travel as COVID-19 cases continue to rise. 9:30

The Emergencies Act would give cabinet the power to regulate or prohibit travel "to, from or within any specified area, where necessary for the protection of the health or safety of individuals."

On Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged Canadians to rethink all travel plans inside and outside Canada's borders, particularly as March break approaches.

What's happening across Canada

As of 5:45 p.m. ET on Sunday, Canada had reported 747,383 cases of COVID-19, with 63,667 cases considered active. A CBC News tally of deaths stood at 19,094.

British Columbia said Sunday that the province has so far seen nine cases of coronavirus variants — six of a strain first detected in the U.K., and three of a variant first seen in South Africa.

Alberta reported 463 new COVID-19 cases and 24 additional deaths on Sunday.

Saskatchewan announced 260 new cases and three more deaths. Additionally, the province said it has administered all of its vaccine stock.

Police in Regina confirmed a small group of ant-lockdown protesters demonstrated outside the home of Dr. Saqib Shahab, the province's chief medical health officer, on Saturday. Premier Scott Moe condemned the protests and reiterated his support for Shahab.

Manitoba announced 222 new cases and two additional deaths. More than half of the new cases — 116 — are in the province's northern region, which was excluded from Saturday's easing of some strict pandemic restrictions.

Ontario registered 2,417 new cases and 50 more deaths.

Meanwhile, a teenager who died of COVID-19 has been identified by the long-term care home near London, Ont., where he worked as Yassin Dabeh. 

WATCH | Teen who died of COVID-19 was Syrian refugee, long-term care worker:

Teen who worked at long-term care home dies of COVID-19

CBC News

3 months ago
Yassin Dabeh, 19, who worked as a cleaner at a long-term care home in Ontario, died after being diagnosed with COVID-19. The Middlesex-London Health Unit said the teen is the youngest person in the region diagnosed with the virus to die. 3:51

Quebec reported 1,457 new cases and 41 more deaths.

New Brunswick is reporting 20 new cases. The figure comes a day after the Edmundston region went into full lockdown.

Newfoundland and Labrador saw no new cases.

Nova Scotia added one new case, but its active caseload dipped as it also announced two recoveries. Starting Monday, the province will ease some restrictions on sports and the performing arts.

In Prince Edward Island, more people were allowed in churches and other places of worship after the province eased some measures this weekend.

Nunavut says it will tighten restrictions in Arviat after the territory announced 13 new infections in the hard-hit community.

In Yukon, the White River First Nation in Beaver Creek is calling for a harsher penalty against two Vancouver residents who broke COVID-19 rules and got vaccinated in the community.

What's happening around the world

As of Sunday, more than 99.1 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, with more than 54.6 million of the cases considered resolved or recovered, according to the coronavirus tracking tool maintained by Johns Hopkins University. The global death toll stood at more than 2.1 million.

In Africa, four Zimbabwean cabinet ministers have died of COVID-19 — three within the past two weeks — highlighting a resurgence of the disease in the country.

Pallbearers carry the coffin of government minister Ellen Gwaradzimba in Harare, Zimbabwe, on Jan. 21. Gwaradzimba is among four cabinet ministers to have died of COVID-19. (Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/The Associated Press)

In Europe, the French government says it may impose a third lockdown in the coming days if an existing 12-hour-a-day curfew doesn't significantly slow virus infections.

In Asia-Pacific, New Zealand confirmed it was investigating one positive case of COVID-19 in the community, the first domestic case in months.

In the Americas, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Sunday he has tested positive for COVID-19 and that the symptoms are mild.

You can watch full episodes of Rosemary Barton Live on CBC Gem, the CBC's streaming service.

With files from The Associated Press

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