Tam warns of mounting pressure on hospitals as COVID-19 cases continue to rise

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TORONTO – Canada’s top doctor says hospitals across the country face increasing pressure as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise across much of the country.Dr. Theresa Tam describes the situation in Western Canada, Quebec and Ontario as “worrying” and says it is straining health care resources.

Tam says the number of people with severe cases of COVID-19 continues to increase with a daily average of more than 1,400 people treated in hospitals over the past week.

She says that includes a daily average of 280 people in intensive care and 55 reported deaths each day in the past seven days.

Tam says the western provinces saw a weekly increase in daily hospitalizations of 24 to 50 percent from last week.

She says that while Ontario and Quebec have seen smaller increases, those provinces continue to have the highest number of people hospitalized.

Tam’s warnings come as Ontario and Quebec set new one-day records for new cases in the past 24 hours.

Ontario recorded 1,581 new diagnoses and 20 new deaths on Saturday, while Quebec recorded 1,448 cases and 25 deaths related to the virus.

Manitoba added 237 cases to its tally, as well as multiple deaths linked to a long-term care facility in Winnipeg under provincial investigation.

The rising numbers come as Canadians across the country prepare to start celebrating the Hindu festival of Diwali.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was among many political leaders urging celebrants to recognize the holiday practically this year in order to curb the spread of COVID-19.

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