Canada's COVID-19 cases top 650,000

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OTTAWA, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- Canada's COVID-19 cases surpassed 650,000 as of Saturday afternoon, with the total hitting 650,922, including 16,788 deaths, according to CTV.

Canada's national-level data on Jan. 1 to 7 indicated a daily average of 7,672 new cases, and many areas continued to experience high infection rates, said the Public Health Agency of Canada on Saturday.

Hospitalisations and deaths were increasing in the country. Provincial and territorial data indicated that on average 4,336 people with COVID-19 were being treated in Canadian hospitals each day on Jan. 1 to 7, added the agency.

Ontario reported 3,443 new cases on Saturday after the province released record-breaking numbers with 4,249 new cases on Friday.

On Saturday, Quebec province confirmed 3,127 new cases. The number shattered the record of 2,869 new cases set on Jan. 2, well above the seven-day average of 2,685. The province's latest count of COVID-19 cases stood at 226,233.

Quebec is to kick off a month-long curfew starting at 8 p.m. Saturday. Police will have the power to stop anybody outdoors between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m.

Those without a valid reason to be out between those hours could face fines of 1,000 to 6,000 Canadian dollars (one Canadian dollar is about 0.79 U.S. dollar).

Saturday morning, Quebec Premier Francois Legault noted that imposing an overnight curfew was a difficult, but necessary decision in order to limit the chances of Quebecers gathering illegally.

"The main reason for the curfew is to prevent gatherings, even the smallest ones," said Legault. "It's the addition of all the small breaches of the rules that feed the virus."

Despite official health guidelines against COVID-19 demanding non-essential travel should be avoided, more than 4,253 Canadians visited Hawaii by both direct and connecting flights between Dec. 1, 2020 and Jan. 7, 2021, CTV reported on Saturday. Enditem

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