“Normalcy as before will not return until we get a vaccine for it … It will be far away,” the Prime Minister said in his daily press conference on Canada’s response to the COVID-19 epidemic.
“We will have to remain vigilant for at least a year,” he added in French.
Canada could see 11,000 to 22,000 coronavirus deaths with rigorous controls, officials say
Trudeau’s comments came just after the release of the modeling data that federal health officials used to inform Canada’s response to the pandemic.
The models suggested that the first wave of the virus could end sometime in the summer, but more “wavelets” are possible in the months to come.
Control and surveillance of epidemics will have to continue during this period so that the “chains” of the virus do not “reignite,” said Dr. Theresa Tam, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada.
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Canada is now developing “tools and habits” that will allow the country to be “much more resilient and resistant to new outbreaks and spread,” Trudeau later told reporters.
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Even then, “there will be things we just can’t do” for a year to 18 months, he added in French.
The Prime Minister once again urged Canadians to stay at home and limit their travel outside so that the country can get through the first wave of the virus “as quickly as possible.”
While it is unclear what the extensive Canadian epidemiological controls would look like at this point, analysis by Harvard researchers – published March 27 before peer review – suggested that several “intermittent” periods of physical (social) distancing might be a more effective strategy for saving. life than to continue with “strict” distancing measures.
Health officials still do not know where Canada is on the epidemic curve and will not know when the virus has peaked before it happens, said Tam.
The possible pandemic scenarios are “very sensitive” to the actions of the people, said the best doctor in the country.
Coronavirus outbreak: COVID-19 projection of Canada’s “best case” kills 11,000 to 22,000
If Canada maintains strong epidemic control measures, between 11,000 and 22,000 people could die during the pandemic – the best scenario for the country, according to federal projections released Thursday.
The number of possible deaths from COVID-19 would rise to hundreds of thousands if 25% or more of the population were infected, depending on the model.
“We are the perpetrators of our lot,” said Tam.
As of Thursday, there were 19,759 confirmed cases of new coronavirus in the country and 461 related deaths, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.
This month alone, federal models predict a total of 22,580 to 31,850 coronavirus cases by April 16, which could lead to approximately 500 to 700 deaths by the same date next week.
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