Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

COVID-19 predictions coming ‘soon’, but results will depend on how Canadians act: Trudeau

Prime minister is meeting with Canadian premiers

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Ottawa is working on releasing predictions “soon,” but that the biggest indicator of how Canada will fare in the pandemic is how will they behave.

Trudeau was pressed during his Thursday (April 2) address about why Canada hasn’t released scenarios like other nations, including the U.S. The U.S. Centre on Disease Control released predictions that 100,000 to 240,000 people could die due to the COVID-19 crisis. According to the U.S. CDC, there were 186,101 cases and 3,603 deaths as of Wednesday (April 1).

So far, the Canadian government said there are 10,446 cases and 127 deaths here at home.

Trudeau said provinces were sorting through a backlog of information and more accurate information would come, but said the scenarios could vary widely.

The predictions, Trudeau said, could be anywhere from “everyone gets suddenly better in the next two weeks” to facing “a situation like some of the other countries in the most dire situations have.”

The prime minister did not name countries but likely referred to Italy, the centre of Europe’s outbreak, with 110,574 total cases, 13,155 deaths, and 16,847 recoveries.

“It’s important that people stay home and continue with social distancing, continue keeping two metres apart, continue to look to minimize their movements as much as possible,” Trudeau said.

“Everything we are likely to face will be linked directly to how people behave today.”

At a press conference following Trudeau’ update, Canada’s chief medical officer Dr. Theresa Tam said there were a variety of models possible, based both on Canadians’ responses but also

“You can’t go too far, you can’t guess months down the road,” she said.

“What you’re looking at is if the numbers are pointing in a different direction.”

But Tam said the Public Health Agency of Canada would not wait for “perfect” data.

More to come.

READ MORE: Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

READ MORE: ‘There can be no ambiguity’: Travellers brought home to B.C. must self-isolate


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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