KAWARTHA LAKES-The Ontario government says they have found at least 45 cases of the Coronavirus variant that is tearing through India and reportedly killing thousands daily, in the province.
“As of last week, there are 45 confirmed cases of the B.1.617 variant in Ontario with more than 80 per cent directly linked to international travel and the remaining still under investigation. These are the ones we know about from a small sample size of cases, but there are likely many more that have now taken hold in our communities.” said Premier Doug Ford in a statement released this morning.
“This is deeply troubling, especially in light of the World Health Organization’s recent decision to designate B.1.617 as a variant of global concern. We have seen the devastating impact this variant has had on the people of India and the United Kingdom is now concerned that it could derail their reopening plans.” Ford continued.
This, while residents of Ontario continue to be told to “stay-at-home” and businesses are closed.
Ford says this new COVID-19 variant, as well as the others, are here because of travel and, as a result of a “quarantine system riddled with loopholes”, has spread to the community.
“Unfortunately, after several letters requesting stronger border measures, as well as a unanimous motion passed by the Region of Peel Council calling for similar action, no further steps have been taken by the federal government. We cannot let the sacrifices of so many Ontarians be for nothing. We are again pleading with the federal government to step up and do what’s necessary to stop more variants from entering our country. Waiting for the fourth wave to walk across our border isn’t the solution. We need the federal government to take action now.”
Meanwhile Prime Minister Trudeau has been accusing Ford of playing political games.
“I find it kind of frustrating and disappointing that the province is still trying to point fingers,” Trudeau said. “We’re there to continue to support Ontarians through this difficult time in whatever ways are necessary. It’s just unfortunate that Doug Ford continues to play politics.”
It’s unclear whether this variant is any more transmissible or deadly.