COVID-19: 11,000 – 22,000 Canadians could die, according to health projections
Federal health officials have released data suggesting Canada could see anywhere from 11,000 to 22,000 deaths due to COVID-19 even with strong public health measures.
The modelling predicts how the COVID-19 crisis will unfold in Canada in the months ahead. It also projects 32,000 cases with deaths between 500 and 700 across the country by April 16.
Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam says Canada is still in earlier stages of the pandemic in comparison to other countries. “There are regional differences with the bulk of cases in four provinces British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec,” said Tam.
She highlighted that Canada is doing well since “the number of cases is doubling every three to five days, which is a comparatively positive trajectory.”
Tam said Canada’s health-care system will face a strenuous time if 2.5 per cent of the population infected.
If 5 per cent of the population is infected, Canada would see 1,879,000 cases, 46,000 admissions to ICUs and 22,000 deaths.
The best-case scenario for the country would be if only one per cent of Canada’s 37 million people get infected. In that case, deaths could be kept to 4,400.
While models help in predicting what could happen, “It’s important to recognize that models are not a crystal,” said Tam.
Tam and her team said the coronavirus pandemic could last in some limited form until spring 2021. However, if current strong measures are followed, it can end largely by fall 2020.
Statistics Canada also released results for the Labour Force Survey, March 2020. It shows the jobless rate has been pushed to 7.8 per cent.
It shows Canada’s economy lost more than one million jobs in March. In February, 19.2 million Canadians had paid work whereas barely 18 million Canadians are left with jobs now.
According to Statistics Canada, the employment rate is at its lowest rate since April 1997.
Meanwhile, Ontario Premier Doug Ford launched an Ontario jobs and recovery committee. “When we beat COVID-19, our province can come back stronger than ever before, and Ontario will take our rightful place as a workshop of Canada, the economic powerhouse of Confederation,” said Ford.
Last month Ontario’s action plan responding to COVID-19 was introduced. Under the plan, $17 billion were committed to additional healthcare resources and urgent supports for people and jobs.
The plan also offered $10 billion in cash flow support for people and businesses through tax and other deferrals.
Just after the release of the model, PM Justin Trudeau said the coming months are crucial for Canada and the curve can only flatten if people are “vigilant.”
However, Canadians won’t be able to go back to their normal routine soon. “Normality, as it was before, will not come back full-on until we get a vaccine for this,” said Trudeau.
At noon, Tam and her team announced that 5 million people have applied for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). Out of the total number, 4.6 million applications have been processed.
Currently, Canada has 19,791 cases of COVID-19 with 462 deaths and 4,889 recovered cases.
The organisers of Toronto Caribbean Carnival released a statement on Wednesday stating that the festival is being cancelled this year due to COVID-19, a “severe public health threat.”
The city had announced the cancellation of all major events and festivals through June 30 due to the pandemic. Toronto Pride Parade is among the festivals that have been affected due to the crisis.
Until 4 p.m. yesterday, the city reported a total of 1,570 positive cases in Toronto. Ontario has 4,347 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 174 deaths and 1,802 recovered cases.
In the US, more than one in 10 workers lost their jobs in just the past three weeks due to the pandemic. As a result, 16.8 million Americans have filed for unemployment aid.
Earlier this week, US President Donald Trump said the virus has affected the ‘greatest economy that anybody has ever had.’
Currently, the US has the highest number of cases with 434,861 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 14,814 deaths.
A World Bank report has predicted that Africa’s key trading partners and a fall in commodity prices due to the outbreak will lead to its first recession for 25 years.
Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to be hit with a shrinking economy of 5.1 per cent, the report said.
Currently, South Africa has 1,845 positive cases with 18 deaths.
Elsewhere, Easter will be celebrated uniquely this year in Vatican city. Due to COVID-19, this year millions will join the Vatican Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Pope for Holy Thursday, Good Friday, the Easter Vigil, and Easter Sunday Mass via radio, television and the internet.
As Europe’s outbreak epicentre, Italy’s Civil Protection Agency says the country has seen a gradual fall in the daily death toll. However, coronavirus continues to take a toll on Italy with 139,422 positive cases with 17,669 deaths.
The global coronavirus cases reach 1.5 million with 90,057 deaths.