No return to ‘normality’ until coronavirus vaccine is available, Trudeau says

Canadians won’t be able to return to life as they knew it before the novel coronavirus pandemic until a vaccine is available, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday.

“Normality as it was before will not come back full-on until we get a vaccine for this… That will be a very long way off,” the prime minister said during his daily news conference on Canada’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“We will have to remain vigilant for at least a year,” he said in French.

READ MORE: With strong controls, Canada could see 11,000 to 22,000 coronavirus deaths, officials say

Trudeau’s comments came just after the release of modelling data that federal health officials have been using to inform Canada’s response to the pandemic.

The models suggested the first wave of the virus end could end roughly sometime in the summer, but that further “wavelets” are possible into the latter half of 2020.

Public health controls and surveillance would have to continue so “the chains” of the virus wouldn’t “reignite,” said Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer.

If Canada keeps strong epidemic control measures in place, between 11,000 and 22,000 people could die over the course of the pandemic — the best-case scenario for the country, the projections released Thursday suggest.

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As of Thursday, there are 19,759 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus in the country and the deaths of 461 people had been linked to the virus, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

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