Statement from the Minister of Health on Canada’s Third National Day of Observance for COVID-19


March 11, 2023 | Ottawa, Ontario | Health Canada

Today, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health issued the following statement marking the third National Day of Observance for COVID-19:

“Today is Canada’s National Day of Observance for COVID-19, a day to remember more than 51,000 people who have lost their lives, and to recognize those who are still suffering from COVID-19 and its significant impacts. It is also a day to acknowledge the tremendous resilience and sacrifices of the people in Canada, and to express our gratitude to all the health care and essential workers who have compassionately, tirelessly, and fearlessly been on the front lines throughout this pandemic.

As we approach the three-year mark since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, the situation in Canada continues to evolve. Case numbers are stable, there are higher levels of population immunity and increased capacity for genomic surveillance. Additionally, there is access to vaccines, treatments, and rapid tests, all of which work to substantially mitigate the overall impact and risk of severe outcomes.

However, the virus continues to circulate in Canada and around the world, with ongoing impact on our health care system. The Public Health Agency of Canada continues to work with provincial and territorial governments, health care providers and other partners, to monitor COVID-19, engage internationally, and prioritize clear, coordinated and evidence-based communication around the ongoing management of the virus.

An important part of managing this virus involves recognizing and helping those who are experiencing post COVID-19 condition (PCC) or long COVID. While scientific knowledge on this condition is growing, much is still unknown. The Government of Canada recently released the full report from the Task Force on PCC which provides action items to help manage the health and socio-economic impacts of PCC in Canada. Additionally, we are funding Long COVID Web to develop accurate diagnostics, treatments, and rehabilitation strategies for PCC as well as Cochrane Canada and GRADE centres at McMaster University to develop clinical practice guidelines on PCC to support patients and health professionals.

Since 2020, we have gotten to a much different place. Nevertheless, I encourage everyone to be up-to-date on all vaccinations, including for COVID-19, and to practice personal protective measures to help us reduce the spread of illnesses. These combined efforts contribute to a more manageable state for us, our loved ones and our health workers.

There will be many lessons learnt from this pandemic that will help adjust our approach and ensure we remain well positioned and prepared to respond to future global health emergencies.

Thank you for continuing to do your part.”

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, P.C., M.P.


Guillaume Bertrand
Senior Communications Advisor and Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health

Media Relations
Health Canada

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