On Saturday, the health authorities confirmed that two cases of coronavirus variant that recently emerged in Britain have been detected in Canada.
“A couple from Durham have been found with the variant with no known travel history, exposure or high-risk contacts,” Barbara Yaffe, acting chief medical officer of Ontario, said in a statement.
They have been quarantined as Ontario reimposed a lockdown for an unspecified period due to a hike in Covid-19 cases in the province since early December.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had announced on Wednesday to extend the suspension of passenger flights from the United Kingdom until January 6, in light of the deadly COVID-19 variant found in Britain.
The discovery of two cases “further reinforces the need for Ontarians to stay home and continue to follow all public health advice, including the province wide shutdown measures beginning today,” said Yaffe.
The lockdown in Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, will be in place for 28 days in the south of the region and 14 days in the north.
The clampdown measures bar gatherings outside the family circle. Grocery stores and pharmacies have been allowed to remain open, but restaurants will provide take-out or delivery service.
According to the latest data, Canada has recorded more than 534,000 cases of coronavirus and more than 14,700 deaths.