A total of five Nunavummiut have died from COVID-19 as of Jan. 5, but only one of those deaths has been reported in territorial government statistics. The Nunavut government says it’s still working out how report deaths that happened outside the territory. (File image)

Nunavut celebrates as COVID-19 cases drop to zero

Premier cautions news “does not mean the outbreak is over”

By Sarah Rogers

Nunavummiut celebrated a COVID-19-free territory over the weekend.

Premier Joe Savikataaq announced Sunday on Twitter the territory was back to having zero active cases of the potentially fatal coronavirus.

“As of today, there are no active cases in the territory!” he wrote.

But the premier said the news does not mean the outbreak is over. And he urged caution.

“There are still people in isolation, and everyone still needs to do their part and practice the public health measures,” he said.

Since Nunavut reported its first case of COVID-19 on Nov. 6, 265 people have recovered from the virus.

Arviat saw the majority of those cases, with 222 COVID-19 infections in the Kivalliq community, where the last person recovered last week.

Arviat Mayor Joe Savikataaq Jr., the premier’s son, announced on the community’s FM radio station Saturday evening that his community was virus-free. That prompted parades in a handful of Nunavut communities, where residents took to the streets honking their horns.

Since the first case was confirmed, Nunavut recorded one COVID-19-related death — an Arviat man who died in Winnipeg on Dec. 19.

The GN had initially reported the death of another man from Rankin Inlet. But last week, the government revised its statistics to show just one COVID-19 death. A Health Department spokesperson said it must still confirm which jurisdiction one of the deaths should be recorded in.

News that there are no active cases came just as the territory is about to launch its vaccination program.

Six thousand doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine landed in Nunavut on Dec. 31.

Nunavut health officials are expected to start vaccinating elders and health care workers across the territory later this week. The government is expecting enough doses to vaccinate 75 per cent of the adult population in the first three months of 2021.

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(8) Comments:

  1. Posted by JanPhimself on

    Godspeed Nunavummiut keep that course and be safe

  2. Posted by Why u dum on

    How many people have got the vaccination since NU got them? We have had them for 4 days, no one has got vaccinated yet? How many MLA travelled over the holidays? How many directors did not follow government recmendations and went south?

    • Posted by George on

      All we know (from the news) is that, apparently, all the vaccine doses went to Iqaluit and Rankin. Where they go from there, if they go anywhere at all, has not been made public. So who knows when we will be vaccinated.
      I had always hoped that the federal and provincial/territorial governments would not totally screw up the distribution too badly, but I’m prepared to be trapped in my house for quite a few more months.
      They should at least get the most-vulnerable people of Nunavut vaccinated as quickly as possible. With the 6,000 doses (they say) we have, that should take a week at most if they can just get off their asses and get it done.

  3. Posted by Missing Link on

    A Sanikiluaq resident died this weekend. I hope that gets mentioned soon.

  4. Posted by Jimmy on

    Canadians have a very high tolerance for government ineptitude at all levels. If recent history is any indication the response of government to the administration of Covid vaccine will likely be an utter failure. In fact, other countries (including the US, who we smugly like to criticize) are doing much better than we are even in these early days of the vaccine’s Canadian “crawl-out”.
    If the politicians can’t get their act together (where’s the much-vaunted military in all this?) and create a system for getting the vaccine out of freezers and into arms, then we will all be stuck in lock-down for months to come.
    This is not rocket-surgery, folks. A ten-year old could come up with an effective plan.

    • Posted by Vaccines Required In Arviat Now on

      The massive outbreak in Arviat
      per capital needs to have vaccinations for Covid 19 done now!
      No cases that’s great but the Virus is still in Nunavut.
      Give everyone in Arviat vaccinations right away.
      Don’t drag your feet Premier and Public Health…Act Now

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