With strong public health measures, between 11,000 and 22,000 Canadians could die from COVID-19 in the months ahead, though the death rate could be much higher with poor containment measures, federal modelling shows.
Federal projections released by Health Canada show that if 2.5 per cent of the population contracts the virus, 11,000 people could die, but if that case count doubles to five per cent, 22,000 deaths are projected over the course of the pandemic.
The number of Canadians who could contract the virus and die increases drastically in scenarios featuring weaker containment efforts, the various national scenarios show.
Ontario now has 200 COVID-19 deaths; with the provincial case count climbing to 5,759
Theresa Tam, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada commenting on the release of national modelling said, “with no control efforts in place, up to 80 per cent of Canadians could contract the virus. That scenario could result in a summertime peak and more than 300,000 deaths, which is approximately equivalent to the total number of deaths from all causes in Canada each year.
However, Health Canada says the current pandemic parameters Canadians are living under are considered strong controls, such as physical distancing, and quarantining travellers, whereas if fewer people stay home or do not act like they could be carrying the virus there will be a weaker hold on the disease.
The agency cautioned that in the absence of a treatment or vaccine, the fight against the disease is likely going to require waves of epidemic controls, spanning months. The short-term federal projection on the spread of COVID-19 shows that between 500-700 Canadians could die from COVID-19 in the next week, with the number of cases rising to between 22,580 and 31,850 cases. Also playing a factor in the scenarios is the increase in health care capacity, from stocking up on lifesaving supplies like ventilators, to having enough workers able to respond to the surge of patients.