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Canada surpasses 800,000 cases of COVID-19 as top doctor notes 'hopeful signs'

Last Updated Feb 6, 2021 at 7:44 pm EST

Khushpreet Gulati, right, arrives from India and receives a mandatory COVID-19 test at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Monday, February 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Canada has recorded more than 800,000 cases of COVID-19 since the onset of the global pandemic.

The national tally crossed the disheartening threshold on Saturday, led by daily reports from Quebec and Ontario that added 1,204 and 1,388 respectively to the national count.

Federal government data shows Canada has logged 801,057 total infections and 20,702 deaths over the course of the pandemic.

It took three weeks for Canada to add another 100,000 cases to its overall total, with the government reporting just over 700,000 diagnoses on Jan. 16.

Quebec, meanwhile, prepared to log its 10,000th death linked to the illness after a further 27 deaths have pushed the death toll in the province to 9,999 on Saturday.

The pace of new infections has slowed during that time, prompting the country’s top doctor to describe new case trends as heading in the right direction.

“It is crucial that strong measures are kept in place in order to maintain a steady downward trend,” she added.

“The risk remains that trends could reverse quickly, particularly in areas of the country that are reporting increased, unchanged or only modest declines in COVID-19 disease activity.”

Outbreaks are still happening in high-risk settings and among vulnerable populations, said Tam, including hospitals, long-term care homes, correctional facilities, and in remote communities.

Tam repeated her warning that new variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 could rapidly accelerate transmission in Canada.