(CNN)Canadian public health officials say a rapidly spreading variant likely has now replaced the original Covid-19 virus in many parts of the country, and new variants are making younger people sicker and sending more to the hospital.
Covid-19 variants have likely replaced original virus in many parts of Canada, health officials say
"This isn't the news any of us wanted, but hospitalizations are surging, ICU beds are filling up, variants are spreading and even people who had convinced themselves they didn't need to be concerned are getting sick," Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at a news conference Tuesday, adding this is a "very serious" third wave of the pandemic.
Trudeau made a pointed appeal to young people, urging them to "stay home" as younger Canadians are getting sicker in this third wave.
Intensive care unit admissions are up 18% in the past week alone, and the new variants are placing a "heavy strain" on hospital capacity, the Public Health Agency of Canada said.