Ontario, the most populous province of Canada, announced that it will be shutting down schools across the province because of the surging Covid-19 cases powered by the highly contagious omicron variant.

Ontario premier announced on Monday that the schools will be shifted to online learning along with the closure of gyms, cinemas, and indoor dining.

Hospitals have also been ordered to hold non-urgent surgeries.

Ontario has witnessed a fresh wave of Covid-19 cases because of the omicron variant and it has started to lockdown again.

The premier of Ontario Doug Ford stated that “the projections showing the total number of patients in hospitals would exceed capacity within a few weeks as omicron is expected to tear through the population. We are expecting a tsunami of cases and noted just one percent of 100,000 new cases a day could overwhelm hospitals.”

Ontario has a population of over 14.7 million people.

They had no choice,” said Dr. Andrew Morris, a professor of infectious diseases at the University of Toronto and the medical director of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program at Sinai-University Health Network.

 Dr. Andrew Morris
torontolife.com

“It was going to be brutal one way or the other. Show me who isn’t facing these realities? Anywhere?” he said.

The Canadian government had announced last week that the schools will be reopened on Wednesday but now the reopening of the schools has been further delayed till 17th January.

The premier announced that the capacity at the retail stores will be limited to 50% while the indoor gatherings or social events will be limited to five people only.

These new Covid-19 curtailing measures are set to be implied from Wednesday and will be in place for the next 21 days.

“The immediate goal of these measures will be to blunt the latest wave so we can ease the pressure on our hospitals,” Premier Doug Ford said Monday 

Ford said, “while he understands people will be angered and confused by the new restrictions, the result of inaction would be “catastrophic.”

“The evidence tells us that about one percent of people who get Omicron will end up in the hospital,” Ford said. “One percent of hundreds of thousands is too many new patients.”