COVID-19: Up to 44,000 dead in Canada if the country “controls the epidemic”

In the best of scenarios, and provided that Canada “controls the epidemic”, COVID-19 would kill between 11,000 and 44,000 people in the country.
The chief administrator of the Public Health Agency of Canada, Theresa Tam, released these scenarios Thursday morning.

In his calculations, between 2.5 and 10 percent of the Canadian population will have been infected during this epidemic, provided that strict measures to curb the spread of the virus continue to be imposed. The number of hospitalizations will be between 73,000 and 292,000, from 23,000 to 92,000 of these patients will have stayed in intensive care.

Introducing the exercise, Dr. Tam pointed out that her image is “incomplete” because many cases across the country go unreported. The numbers of cases reported depend on the number of tests administered, and these vary from province to province.

With the figures it has at its disposal, the agency predicts, by April 16, between 22,580 and 31,850 cases in the country. This would mean that there will have been between 500 and 700 deaths by the end of next week in Canada.

“We cannot prevent all deaths, but we must prevent every death that we can prevent,” said Dr. Tam, again emphasizing the need to comply with social removal and of isolation.

Thursday morning, we approached the 20,000 confirmed and probable cases detected by the tests administered in Canada. More than 460 deaths had been reported.

Still relying on data provided by the provinces, Dr. Tam notes that the number of cases doubles every five days, whereas it doubled every three days before. She remains cautious, fearing to provoke a relaxation in obedience to the limits imposed on citizens.

“It is too early to know if, from a national perspective, we are approaching the peak,” said Dr. Tam.

Back to normal not soon

As the day before, Justin Trudeau stressed that a complete return to normal will not be possible before a vaccine. He could now rely on the published scenarios to make the situation accepted by Canadians who had been traveling for weeks.

“Normalcy as it was before cannot return until there is a vaccine, and that could be in a year, a year and a half; we do not know exactly, ”said the Prime Minister.

“Once this first wave has passed,” certain activities will be allowed, he reminded his press briefing Thursday morning, as he did on Wednesday. Movement restriction measures will then be imposed only in the regions and at the times when there are “resurgences”.

“As Dr. Tam explained, we are likely to experience other smaller waves of infection for a number of months. (…) But as we saw this morning, this is a better scenario than what could happen if we refused to act, “said Mr. Trudeau, referring to the scenarios published that morning.

“I know it is not easy, but it is not forever,” said the Prime Minister, promising a possible return to parks, cinemas and restaurants.

“For that everyone must do their part, now, and for the weeks to come,” he insisted.

Number of cases

There are 19,805 confirmed and probable cases detected by tests administered in Canada. COVID-19 disease has claimed the lives of 462 Canadians to date.

Distribution of cases across the country, according to the most recent reports available: 10,031 cases in Quebec, including 175 deaths; 5,759 cases in Ontario, including 200 deaths; 1,423 cases in Alberta, including 29 deaths; 1336 cases in British Columbia, including 48 deaths; 373 cases in Nova Scotia, including two deaths; 271 cases in Saskatchewan, including three deaths; 232 cases in Newfoundland and Labrador, including two deaths; 221 cases in Manitoba, including three deaths; 108 cases in New Brunswick; 25 cases in Prince Edward Island; eight cases in the Yukon; five cases in the Northwest Territories; no cases in Nunavut.

In addition to these provincial and territorial reports, there are 13 cases among passengers repatriated from the cruise ship Grand Princess on March 10.

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