Canada ramps up restrictions as it crosses 1 million coronavirus cases

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Ottawa

Canada on Sunday crossed the grim milestone of one million coronavirus cases, as provinces ramp up restrictions in its bid to curb the spread of the infection.

With 2,000 new cases of Covid-19 announced in British Columbia on Sunday evening, Canada topped one million cases since the start of the pandemic, according to figures reported by Canadian broadcasters.

Just over 23,000 people have died so far.Canada is grappling with a third wave of cases amid the rapid spread of variants, which are more contagious.

The two most populous provinces, Ontario and Quebec, headed into the Easter weekend tightening public health measures.

Ontario, home to more than a third of Canada´s cases, stepped up restrictions for at least four weeks.

Non-essential businesses are held to 25% capacity, while others can accommodate 50% capacity.

Sports venues and hair salons are closed, though schools remain open and residents have not been ordered to stay home.

The second worst-hit province, Quebec, strengthened restrictions in several regions while maintaining a nighttime curfew imposed in early January that is unprecedented in Canada.

An inoculation program launched in December has been plagued by delays in deliveries of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna doses from Europe.—AFP