Breaking (WNews) – Ontario has confirmed Canada’s first known cases of the U.K. coronavirus variant.
The province’s associate chief medical officer of health Dr. Barbara Yaffe made the announcement in a news release late Saturday.
This comes hours after the Provincial wide lockdown started. The lockdowns are expected to last until early January for northern Ontario and January 28 for southern parts.
The agency said other cases of the variant and other variants “of concern” may be found in Canada.
Officials said the cases involve a couple from Durham Region with no known travel history, exposure, or high-risk contacts. Both are now in self-isolation.
“This further reinforces the need for Ontarians to stay home as much as possible and continue to follow all public health advice, including the provincewide shutdown measures beginning today,” Yaffe said.
“Durham Region Health Department has conducted case and contact investigation and Ontario is working in collaboration with our federal counterparts at the Public Health Agency of Canada.”
The virus variant has already been found in many countries beyond the U.K., including the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, and Australia, officials said.
The variant is believed to be more contagious, but it is not believed to cause more severe illness or resistance to the new Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, officials said.
In a press release, government officials said the following, “With inbound international travel, it is not unexpected to have identified the new variant.
Health Canada said in a statement the Canadian and global medical communities are actively evaluating the mutations.