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Canada/Canadian-Media: Canada "remains on a rapid growth trajectory," which could lead to Canada's death toll increase to 2000 in the next 10 days according to to new modelling released by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), and may soon exceed levels seen during the first peak.
Theresa Tam. Image credit: Screenshot
If people increase their contacts during a time of widespread community transmission, suggests the report, he number of daily COVID-19 cases could more than triple to 30,000
The modelers said that, based on current case counts, as many as 100,000 more people could contract the virus over the next week and a half, PHAC said.
"Quick, strong and sustained measures are needed to interrupt rapid growth and maintain COVID-19 control," PHAC said in its report. "Reducing COVID-19 activity is urgently needed as rollout of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines begins."
Dr. Theresa Tam, Chief Public Health Officer told a news conference that the priority groups of high-risk Canadians being protected by vaccine rollout, will not have a big impact on the numbers in the short term.
"In terms of the national projections and the transmission in communities, you're not going to see that in the initial months, which is why I think our message ... is [to] absolutely get on with the public health measures," she said.
"Do all of those things, don't do non-essential travel. All that really counts. It works. And when you can suppress that projection, the vaccines have a longer runway."
Data which would impact on the numbers mid- and long-term by vaccine rollout is being determined government and external experts, said Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Howard Njoo and added,
"But at the present time, it's really difficult to say. There are so many factors involved. Even today, we're seeing issues in terms of vaccine supply, how vaccines are being rolled out across the country," he said.
"There's other factors in terms of the increasing rates of infection in various parts of the country. So there are many different factors in play."
Right now, the highest infection rates per 100,000 people is being reported are by Alberta, Ontario, Saskatchewan and Quebec.
Saskatchewan's rate of active cases continues to be the highest in Canada for the fourth consecutive day.
As of Thursday, the rate of active cases of COVID-19 in Saskatchewan was 329 per 100,000 people. The national average is 207 per 100,000 people.
"Our case numbers have been going up," Dr. Saqib Shahab, Saskatchewan's chief medical health officer said today during a news conference. "We're also the second-highest in Canada in terms of our average cases over the last seven days."
The province falls just behind Quebec.
According to the release of the latest modeling data by Saskatchewan, the forecast, shows the province could see around 900 new infections a day by Jan. 25 even if residents closely follow public health guidelines.
Adoption of stronger community level public health measures across Canada, since the holidays, and some areas have shown slow growth.
"However, we have yet to see the widespread and sustained declines in daily case counts that would indicate we are bringing the pandemic under control nationally," she said.