Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday rejected the importance of commenting on the sudden and dramatic changes in the death toll in COVID-19 in China, saying that Ottawa is focusing on solving problems such as the current shortage of ‘PPE in Canada.
The answer comes after China revised the death toll of COVID-19 from 1,290 – almost 50% – in the city of Wuhan (when the virus is believed to have originated). This brutal spike, which authorities attribute to large numbers of those who died at home or in cases where reports have been missed, puts the current number of dead in Wuhan at 3,869.
The total number of deaths from COVID-19 in China is currently at 4,632, according to figures from Beijing. Beijing has denied suggestions from the West that China has concealed the extent of the epidemic – but denied having too strong a hand to inform decision-making from COVID-19 to the World Health Organization.
Foreign leaders such as French President Emmanuel Macron and British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab – as well as US President Donald Trump – have all expressed skepticism about how China has handled the epidemic.
Trudeau, however, did not follow suit, not using the word “China” or “Beijing” once in his response to questions from the media on why Ottawa’s response has been relatively lukewarm until now.
“Right now, my job is to make sure that Canadians receive the best support, the best protection and are able to get through this process as best we can,” said Trudeau. “It means getting the equipment we need; this means that collaboration on the international scene is going well. “
China remains the world’s largest producer of PPE such as N95 masks, respirators and protective medical clothing. Earlier this month, Canadian trade officials deplored Beijing’s decision to severely limit the number of Chinese companies that can export PPE, saying the new rules create significant blockages for obtaining masks and respirators for Canada’s health sector struggling to treat COVID patients.
Trudeau added that Ottawa could reconsider the matter later.
“There will be many questions to be asked once we are finished on how different countries have behaved and what types of principles we need to learn – and conclusions we need to draw – as we go along. measure, “he said. “We will have plenty of time to point the finger, ask questions, draw conclusions and ensure that there are consequences for the things that different countries have been able to do during this pandemic.”