Canada's fight against COVID-19 in critical stage: top doctor

OTTAWA, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- Canada is in a critical stage against the COVID-19 pandemic and Canadians should not to let up, said Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer, on Sunday.

"We are at a critical point in the race. We are part-way 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," said Tam in a statement.

Tam said it appears local health measures may be starting to pay off, but it's not clear whether they're strong and broad enough to continue to sustain progress.

She said it's still too soon to know whether the recent downward trend in new COVID-19 cases will continue although there's been an improvement in the COVID-19 numbers in some provinces including British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec while the pandemic is regaining steam elsewhere in the country.

As of Sunday afternoon, Canada reported a total of 746,920 COVID-19 cases and 19,070 deaths, according to CTV.

"At this stage of the pandemic, many of us are experiencing mental fatigue and exhaustion, which is certainly normal and expected," Tam said.

Tam called on Canadians once again 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."

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