Tam warns of a second “explosive” COVID-19 wave in the event of a poorly managed reopening


Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam has clearly warned that Canada could see “explosive growth” in new cases if the reopening is not done with caution, as the latest federal modeling COVID-19 predicts that there will be more than 100,000 confirmed cases in Canada, and up to 9,400 deaths by June 15.

“These models all tell us that if we relax too soon or too soon, the epidemic will most likely rebound with explosive growth as a separate possibility,” Tam said Thursday, imploring all public health bureaus and all levels of government to stay close. watch what happens in the next few weeks to avoid being in another wave of infections in the fall.

According to new short-term federal modeling published by Health Canada, as of June 15 – more than three months since the declaration of a COVID-19 pandemic – the country could see between 97,990 and 107,454 cases, and between 7,700 and 9,400 death.

At 11:15 a.m.ET, based on figures from CTV News, there were 93,700 confirmed cases, of which 34,620 were still considered active. Across Canada, 7,635 people have died to date.

In general, the rise in infections has slowed in all age groups and in most regions of the country, but as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned in his speech before the release of the new data: “The pandemic continues to threaten the health and safety of Canadians. “

In establishing the new figures, Trudeau said that the situation remains “serious” in certain regions where a large number of new cases are still being reported, as well as in places such as long-term care homes across Canada.

In addition, in the past 14 days, Quebec and Ontario have represented more than 90% of the national number of cases.

Updated national projections of the severity and scope of COVID-19 in Canada show that 82% of all deaths from COVID-19 are related to homes for the aged and that outbreaks in other living and Work groups are also responsible for the number of cases, such as those in meat packing plants, shelters and correctional facilities.

Health Canada data shows that more than 8,700 people were hospitalized and more than 1,700 were admitted to an intensive care unit during the spread of the disease across Canada. About 94% of deaths have occurred in people over the age of 60.


Tam said that although progress is being made in the fight against the new coronavirus, until an effective vaccine or treatment is available, continued effort will be required or Canada may see a second “explosive” peak.

Federal modeling has shown that if population-based measures are relaxed – allowing for larger meeting sizes, allowing students to return to school, and allowing businesses to reopen without accompanying public health measures, for example – this “will probably make the epidemic rebound. “

Figures show that if prevention of spread is insufficient, Canada could experience another peak in October.

“As we begin to relax some restrictions, we also need to strengthen other measures… And when people return to work, it is even more important to keep a distance of 2 meters from others, to wash their hands and to wear a mask during physical distance. is not always possible, “said Trudeau on Thursday.

Other key measures to pursue will be case detection and isolation, contact tracing and quarantine of those who have come into contact with a confirmed case, and management of the risk of importation of the disease. ‘foreign.

Health Minister Patty Hajdu told reporters that in addition to provincial reopening plans, each local public health unit will need to balance its ability to manage a local epidemic with the level of public health precautions in its region. She also said that each community must have a solid understanding of what could promote transmission in their area, such as a mining camp, as is the case in their riding and which has led to clusters of infections in a community. neighboring native.

“It doesn’t take very long for an epidemic to really gain traction,” said Hajdu. “Because for some of these small hospitals … a surge could be very difficult to manage.”


Thursday’s numbers are the third update to federal modeling, and they come more than a month after the latest modeling series released by Health Canada which showed that the curve is flattening in Canada and the rate of spread cases had stabilized in most provinces.

The first series of projections showed that the peak of cases in Canada could occur in late spring, with the end of the first wave in summer.

On April 9, it was estimated that between 4,000 and 300,000 people in Canada could die from COVID-19 during the pandemic depending on the level of containment efforts. As part of the public health measures in place, however, officials said it was more likely that the death toll would be between 11,000 and 22,000.

Then, on April 28, the government proposed other short-term projections that estimated that on May 5, Canada was on the verge of hitting between 53,196 and 66,835 cases of COVID-19 and between 3,277 and 3,883 deaths. In fact, as of May 5, there were 62,046 confirmed cases and 4,043 people had died.


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