Canada is slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus, though health officials are anticipating the number of cases and deaths to rise.
Health Canada’s latest short-term modelling shows that COVID-19 could cause 7,700 to 9,400 deaths by June 15. The number of cases could rise to between 97,990 and 107,454.
It notes that settings such as long-term care homes remain particularly vulnerable.
The document says that for almost two weeks, Canada’s time variable reproduction rate (Rt) has been below 1, meaning that on average, each infected person is spreading the virus to less than one other person.
A Rt of greater than one indicates that the pandemic is not under control.
But Canada’s chief public health officer is urging caution when it comes to lifting restrictions put in place to control the spread of COVID-19.
“If we relax too much or too soon, the epidemic will most likely rebound with explosive growth as a distinct possibility,” Dr. Theresa Tam said.
More than 93,000 Canadians have been diagnosed with COVID-19 as of Thursday. More than 7,500 Canadians have succumbed to the illness.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the data shows that Canada is making progress.
“That’s an encouraging sign that the virus is slowing and in some places even stopping,” he said in an address outside Rideau Cottage on Thursday.
“But I want to be very clear. We’re not out of the woods. The pandemic is still threatening the health and safety of Canadians.”
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