Canada’s health system will be “in trouble” if the daily number of Covid-19 cases continues to rise, health chiefs have warned, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged the country to “hang in there” and follow the health measures.
A second wave of the virus has forced 10 Canadian provinces to reimpose restrictions, amid predictions that the number of cases could shoot from the current level of 5,000 a day to 60,000 by the end of the year if people don’t further limit their social contacts.
“We are facing [a] winter that’s going to drive people inside more and more, and we’re really at risk of seeing caseloads go up, and hospitals get overwhelmed, and more loved ones dying,” Trudeau said, addressing the nation from the steps of his Rideau Cottage residence.
So we need to do everything we can right now to slow the spread of Covid-19, to stop the spike in its tracks.
The PM added that “a normal Christmas is quite frankly right out of the question.”
Canadians could limit coronavirus cases to 20,000 a day if they maintain their current levels of contact, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) reported on Friday. But in order to bring the total daily cases below 10,000, the public would have to limit their social contact to essential activities only, the PHAC added.
Meanwhile Trudeau brushed off claims that Ottawa would use emergency powers to re-introduce its own national-style lockdown, saying he is “not looking to bring in a federal hammer to try and do things.”
The PM was speaking after his Chief Public Health Officer Dr Theresa Tam warned “we are not on a good trajectory” as she discussed the latest Covid modelling.
“I think across the board, across Canada, we have to say the time is now, with urgency, that we limit contacts,” she said.
Canada has registered 11,314 deaths related to the virus and 319,229 cases in total, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.