OTTAWA, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- Canada's Quebec province reported 1,171 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, over 1,000 new cases for the second day in a row, according to the provincial government.
It is the highest daily increase in cases since April 30 this year. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been 445,756 confirmed cases and 11,574 deaths in the province.
Of Saturday's new cases, 714 people were unvaccinated, 12 received one dose of vaccine more than 14 days prior and 445 were double vaccinated more than seven days prior to testing positive.
Quebec's vaccination rate remains at 84 percent for those who have received the first dose, and 81 percent for those who have received both doses.
Meanwhile, Ontario, the most populous province of Canada, reported 854 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday as well as two additional deaths linked to the disease.
The seven-day average for the number of cases reported in Ontario was up 729. A week ago, that number was 635 and two weeks ago it was 563.
On Friday, Ontario saw 927 new cases, the highest single-day case total reported since Sept. 4 when the province reported 944 cases.
Saturday's report comes a day after Canada announced that it would ban the entry of foreign nationals who may have traveled through southern Africa in the last two weeks.
The announcement came after the World Health Organization designated B.1.1.529 as a new COVID-19 variant of concern named Omicron, which was newly discovered in South Africa and some other southern African countries.
Omicron, which was first reported from South Africa on Nov. 24, contains a "large number of mutations," some of which "are concerning."
Canada's Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam said that to date, there are no indications of the Omicron presence in Canada. However, Tam said it is "very difficult" to keep the mutation out of Canada "entirely."
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Ontario has recorded 616,051 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 599,979 recoveries and 9,993 deaths - two of which were reported in the last 24 hours.
As of Saturday, Canada reported 2,183 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the cumulative to 1,784,354 cases, including 29,628 deaths.
The Canadian government's surveillance data continued to show that daily case counts have been gradually rising with high infection rates persisting in many areas of the country.
Over the latest seven-day period of Nov. 19-25, Canada reported an average of 2,608 new cases, an increase of 9 percent compared to the previous week, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada on Friday.