Ottawa (Canada) December 17: Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos on Wednesday urged Canadians with plans to travel abroad to cancel their trips as the Omicron variant spreads.
"To those who were planning to travel, I say very clearly now is not the time to travel. The rapid spread of the Omicron variant on a global scale makes us fear the worst," Duclos said at a press conference.
Canada has reported 276 Omicron cases as of Wednesday.
Noting that introducing a new advisory so close to Christmas is a drastic move, Duclos explained he's acting now because the Omicron situation is changing quickly.
"The situation abroad is already dire in many places and it's going to get worse very quickly," he said.
The country reported 5,807 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday evening, raising the cumulative total to 1,851,057 with 29,994 deaths, according to CTV News.
Quebec, with a population of 8.4 million, reported 2,386 new cases on Wednesday -- the highest number since January when the province was in the middle of a brutal second wave.
Ontario, with a population of 14 million, confirmed 1,808 new cases -- the highest since May.
Source: Xinhua