Young Canadians flocking to bars or packed indoor parties may be contributing to a fresh spike in the number of coronavirus cases in the country. The number of fresh cases reported in a day, which had gone down earlier, has now increased by over 50 per cent, crossing 450.
Canada’s Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr Howard Njoo said there may be a “fatigue factor” in play as younger adults are seeking to enjoy themselves after over three months of facing restrictive measures. Most provinces in the country have brought about relaxations and opened bars, restaurants and pubs.
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Njoo pointed out that younger adults, those under 39, now comprised 55 per cent of new cases as against approximately a third in May.
As social gatherings increase, authorities are also seeing the number of contacts per person increase tenfold from threefold or fourfold earlier.
Among the most impacted provinces in Canada is Ontario. On Tuesday it witnessed 203 new positive cases, the highest since late June. Ontario health authorities said 57 per cent of those cases involved those aged below 39.
According to Public Health Agency of Canada, those in the 20-29 demographic formed the largest chunk of new cases in the second week of July.
This trend has caused concern among health authorities in the country, even as the overall numbers haven’t spiraled out of control with the country recording nearly 112,000 cases with 8,862 deaths.
Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr Theresa Tam echoed the worry that younger Canadians may cause a resurgence in Covid-19 infections. Though our social, economic and recreational spaces are cautiously re-opening, we can’t afford to throw caution to the wind. Living with Covid-19 means we cannot eliminate all cases and clusters in Canada, so preventing epidemic acceleration depends on our actions, individually and collectively,” she said in a statement.
Pointing out that this summer is “not like any other”, she advised Canadians to stay in their “social bubble”, avoid closed and crowded spaces and maintain measures like social distancing and wearing masks, even as the last two have been among those often sacrificed in places like bars.