New models released by the federal government show a pandemic paradox is playing out in Canada as more people die from COVID-19, even as the increase in new cases slows down.
Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Thesesa Tam says the number of total cases is levelling out in several provinces.
She credits physical distancing measures meant to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus for cutting transmission rates in half over the last three weeks.
At the same time, Tam says the models show there will likely be more deaths than initially expected.
The government expects to see between 3,227 and 3,883 deaths by May 5 according to its latest projections.
The previous modellingstated that there will be between 22,580 to 31,850 COVID-19 cases and 500-700 deaths by April 16. There were 30,106 cases reported by Thursday, April 16.
Currently, Canada is closing in on 50,000 known cases, of which more than 2,700 have been fatal.
Epidemic growth has levelled off in several provinces, with no community transmission occurring in Prince Edward Island, the Northwest Territories or the Yukon. There have been no cases reported to date in Nunavut.
Though COVID-19 cases in Quebec, Ontario and Alberta are increasing national epidemic growth, it is much better than many other countries. The modelling also shows that Canada’s epidemic growth is slowing as the number of cases in Canada is now doubling every 16 days as opposed to the doubling of every 3 days early in the epidemic.
The aim of the government is to reduce transmission to a level in which each person infects fewer than one person on average.
Trudeau warned that caution remains the watchword when it comes tolifting restrictions that have devastated the economy.
“The measures we’ve taken so far are working. In many parts of the country, the curve has flattened,” Trudeau said at his daily briefing. “(But) if we lift measures too quickly, we might lose the progress we’ve made.”
— With Files from the Canadian Press