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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau elbowing bumps with a patient at a community Covid-19 vaccination clinic in Ontario. Photo: Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Canada's three biggest provinces this week announced new coronavirus restrictions amid a surge in cases largely driven by COVID-19 variants, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Details: Ontario will enter a four-week limited lockdown — its third lockdown since the beginning of the pandemic — starting Saturday, which will ban all indoor activities. Earlier this week, Quebec closed schools and non-essential businesses, and British Columbia banned indoor activities, including places of worship.

  • "Those three provinces account for three-quarters of Canada’s population," the Journal writes.

What they're saying: "We cannot vaccinate quickly enough to break this third wave. This is the challenge of the new variants," said Adalsteinn Brown, a senior science advisor to the Ontario government, per the Journal.

By the numbers: Canada has confirmed more than 982,000 coronavirus cases and nearly 23,000 deaths since the pandemic began, according to government data.

  • The country recorded more than 5,500 new cases on Thursday.

The big picture: Canada is lagging behind the U.S. in terms of vaccinations, with the latter having administered four times as many doses per capita, the Washington Post reports. Unlike the U.S., Canada cannot mass produce vaccines, so it depends on doses produced elsewhere.

Go deeper

The fourth wave is here

Expand chart
Data: CSSE Johns Hopkins University; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Coronavirus infections are on the rise yet again, all across the U.S.

The big picture: America may be at the beginning of a fourth wave in the pandemic. It will almost certainly be far less deadly than the previous three, but this persistent failure to contain the virus has real consequences, and will only make it harder to put COVID-19 behind us.

Americans are worried about coronavirus variants

Data: Harris Poll; Chart: Axios Visuals

Americans are worried about the rapid spread of COVID-19 variants, and are still willing to take safety precautions as a result, according to new Harris Poll data.

Why it matters: Despite the race to vaccinate as many people as possible, the variants are fueling another surge in cases across the U.S.

Apr 1, 2021 - Health

Mets-Nationals Opening Day game postponed due to COVID-19

Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The Washington Nationals-New York Mets Opening Day game, which was set to kick off in the nation's capital on Thursday night, will reportedly be postponed due to COVID-19 protocols, per ESPN's Buster Olney.

Why it matters: More than one year after the first professional sports game was canceled due to COVID-19, it's a reminder that the pandemic is still disrupting everyday life — especially as fourth wave of infections driven by new variants looms over the country.