The latest developments on COVID-19 in Canada on Jan. 12, 2021

·4 min read

OTTAWA — The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times eastern):

12:45 p.m.

Procurement Minister Anita Anand says the extra 20 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine the federal government has secured come from the 56 million doses Ottawa had an option to purchase.

Anand says it remains possible that Canada could decide to buy the other 36 million doses too.

She says the federal government is driving hard in its negotiations to ensure early deliveries.

She says the fact that the bulk of the extra 20 million doses from Pfizer-BioNTech are to arrive in the second and third quarter of this year was the reason Ottawa decided to exercise that option.

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12:35 p.m.

The Manitoba government is expanding the eligibility for one of its COVID-19 relief programs for businesses.

Premier Brian Pallister says hotels, transportation operators and janitorial service companies will now be able to get up to $10,000 in grants if they have been forced to reduce operations due to public health orders.

The grants have already been available to a wide array of small- and medium-sized businesses and charities.

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12:15 p.m.

Canada’s chief public health officer says there is light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to COVID-19, but the country remains on an “ever-worsening trajectory.”

Dr. Theresa Tam says the months ahead might be harder than what the country has experienced since the beginning of the pandemic.

She says there have now been more than 668,000 cases of COVID-19 in Canada, including 17,086 deaths, according to national figures updated Monday evening.

She says there is now an average of more than 8,100 new cases reported daily.

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12:10 p.m.

Prince Edward Island is reporting one new case of COVID-19 today.

Dr. Heather Morrison, the chief medical officer of health, says the latest case involves a male in his 30s who had travelled outside Atlantic Canada.

There are currently eight active cases on the Island and no one is in hospital with the disease.

P.E.I. has reported a total of 103 COVID-19 infections.

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11:45 a.m.

New data indicates Ontario’s health system will be overwhelmed and deaths from COVID-19 will exceed those in the first wave unless there is a significant reduction in contacts between residents.

The data projects that under the current COVID-19 restrictions, daily deaths from the disease will double from 50 to 100 by the end of February.

Projections show there will be about 500 COVID-19 patients in intensive care by January and potentially more than 1,000 by February in more severe scenarios.

Experts compiling projections for the government say the growth of COVID-19 is accelerating in Ontario, growing at seven per cent on the "worst days."

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11:30 a.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government has reached a deal with Pfizer to buy an extra 20 million doses of the vaccine it produced with its German partner BioNTech.

He says that means Canada will receive 80 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines this year.

He also says that between now and sometime between April and June, Canada will have enough doses to vaccinate up to 20 million people against the deadly coronavirus.

Trudeau is also announcing the Canada-U. S. land border will remain closed to non-essential travel until at least Feb. 21 — another 30-day extension to the restrictions in place since mid-March.

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11:15 a.m.

Quebec is reporting 1,934 new cases of COVID-19 today and 47 more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus, including 13 within the preceding 24 hours.

Health officials say the number of hospitalizations rose by 61, to 1,497, and 221 people were in intensive care, a rise of 10.

The province says it administered 7,058 doses of vaccine yesterday, for a total of 99,510 doses.

Quebec has reported 232,624 cases of COVID-19 and 8,782 deaths linked to the virus since the beginning of the pandemic.

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10:30 a.m.

There are 2,903 new cases of COVID-19 in Ontario today, including eight new cases of a variant from the United Kingdom.

The province is also reporting 41 more deaths linked to the virus.

Ontario says that nearly 11,500 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine were administered since its last daily update.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 12, 2021.

The Canadian Press