On Thursday, April 22, Dr. Deena Hinshaw provided an Alberta COVID-19 update. During the update, she announced that 60% of Alberta's active COVID-19 cases are variants of concern.

She also shared that the province has identified its first case of the B.1.617 variant that is causing a significant spike in cases in India at the moment. This news came on the same day that Canada halted direct passenger flights from both India and Pakistan.

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Update on COVID-19 – April 22, 2021 www.youtube.com

"I also must report that we have now confirmed the first case in Alberta of the B.1.617 variant, first identified in Denmark," said Hinshaw. "It's also been found in California and is a key driver in the rise of rapidly-spreading cases that we are seeing in India."

The health official noted that the variant case was a returning traveller who was coming back to Alberta from another Canadian province. She also said that "no additional cases of this variant have been detected to date."

Hinshaw also provided updated case counts, saying that 1,857 additional cases of COVID-19 had been identified in Alberta in the 24 hours before the announcement.