As of 2 p.m. on December 27 there were over 80 million coronavirus cases globally, with the death toll hitting more than 1.7 million, according to John Hopkins University. The good news is that there are over 55 million recoveries.

The United States is leading the world in both COVID-19 infections and fatalities, with over 19 million confirmed cases and over 331,000 deaths.

Health officials in Ontario on Saturday said two confirmed cases of the new coronavirus variant first detected in the United Kingdom had appeared in the Canadian province.

Scientists said the variant is about 40 to 70 percent more transmissible than the original strain. Several other countries, including Australia, Italy and the Netherlands, say they have also detected cases of the new strain.

The Canadian cases, identified in a couple in southern Ontario with no known travel history, exposure or high-risk contact, came as the province went into a lockdown on Saturday.

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