Trudeau warns that COVID-19 crisis could determine Canada's future

Henrietta Brewer
November 20, 2020

Canada's chief public health officer says there's "urgency" to bring COVID-19 infections down as new forecasts from officials show case counts have surpassed levels seen in the first wave.

The modelling predicts that the number of COVID-19 deaths could rise from the current level of just over 11,100 to just more than 12,100 by the end of the month if Canadians maintain their current level of contact with other people.

"The strain on health systems has resulted in hospitals having to postpone important medical procedures, while critical care beds for COVID-19 patients have reached, or, are at near maximum capacity in some areas", warns Tam.

Tam said the worst case scenario, a spike to 60,000 daily cases, would occur if people became more sociable.

The average daily case count in near 4,800 and modelling shows there is rapid growth in the six provinces outside the Atlantic bubble.

"So you can only imagine that if we got to that level (of 10,000), that the pressure on the health-care system will be huge", she told a news conference in Ottawa on November 13.

Still, Tam says that amounts to less than one per cent of the population that has tested positive, meaning the vast majority of Canadians are still susceptible to infection.

However, Tam also suggested she does not believe Canada is on that trajectory at the moment and can still avoid it. Household doesn't mean your university student son who is living somewhere else, household means the people that you've been living with in the last 14 days.

Trudeau renewed his plea for people to stay home by doing that himself.

Through Bill C-9, the federal wage subsidy program has been extended until June, and a new direct-to-tenant rental subsidy is launching.

Public health officials have detailed epidemiological data on only 72 per cent of cases.

Trudeau said that some premiers and mayors have been making hard decisions to shut down, which he supports, but "all orders of government must come together to slow the spread of this virus".

But Trudeau says that lockdown measures are a better way to ensure long-term economic success than letting the spread of the virus continue unchecked.

Other reports by iNewsToday