Chief Federal Public Health Officer Says Hospitals “Still Facing”

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In the daily update to the Federal Cabinet Committee today, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer says that even with the increase in cases, the health care system in Canada is still coping. Dr. Theresa Tam said that even the hardest hit cities in the country; Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal still manage. She explained that the sharp increase in COVID-19 deaths seen in the past few days is due to the fact that the disease can take several weeks to progress.

Asked about the projections released in Ontario earlier, Dr. Tam said these numbers are for planning purposes and will need to be adjusted as the spread of the virus progresses. She said, “We have to look at the evolution and the growth rate as it happens in Ontario as well as the projections.” Adding that other countries like Italy have managed to control the first wave of the virus despite their brutal numbers.

Dr. Tam also reiterated Public Health Canada’s position on masks saying that we must keep surgical masks for our front line workers. She says homemade masks, even when used properly, would only protect those around you if you had COVID-19.

And regarding US President Donald Trump’s directive to 3M to stop supplying N95 masks to Canada and Latin America, the Deputy Prime Minister of Canada said that the federal government was doing everything.

Chrystia Freeland said the two countries are more aware than ever of the need to work together for their economic, security and health needs. She pointed out that the flow of supplies is a two-way street and, in fact, under US law, Canada is part of the American military and industrial complex.

She said that all ministers are working tirelessly with their American counterparts to clarify Canada’s position. Freeland reminded the audience that in times of crisis, all relationships at all levels can face challenges, and this is no exception. Nonetheless, she said the federal government is working closely with the United States and commended 3M for its responsible and laudable public statement this morning.

** Written by Mo Fahim



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