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Ottawa, Apr 2 (Canadian-Media): Although Canada had received a wake up call by its Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that the country would be afflicted by COVID-19 pandemic for months to come, but federal government said it is is not yet ready to release internal projections of just how deadly the virus could be and when the caseload might peak, media reports said.
Justin Trudeau. Image credit: Official site
On the other hand models of projections of number of deaths, number of people hospitalized due to this pandemic have been revealed by other countries, including the U.S.
It was also promised by Ontario Premier Doug Ford promised Thursday that his government will release modelling tomorrow of potential death rates. "It's going to be stark...It will be a real wake-up call. I don't believe in holding back figures in this crisis. We have to be fully transparent with the people of Ontario, no matter how hard it is."
He said he hopes the grim figures will convince people who have been defying stay-home requests and practice social distancing to take pandemic planning more seriously.
When asked Thursday why his government refuses to release internal data on COVID-19's potential spread, Trudeau said there is still more work to be done to provide Canadians with an accurate picture.
The modelling and analysis that has been going on and the data will be discussed with the premiers to be able to share more information soon, said Trudeau, referring to a scheduled call with the country's first ministers.
Canada's Health Minister Patty Hajdu and Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, also declined to release the data as they believed Canada will be in a better position on the projected volume of deaths once the provinces supply infection rate data and added it is hard to project what will happen next without knowing what hasn happened already.
Hajdu said Canada’s system would break under the weight of a huge surge in cases and added,
“Our health system can not cope with a surge. It was never designed to see that many critical patients all at once.”
Tam said new infections would take weeks to show up in the healthcare system and added,
“Any planning scenario...this health system isn’t well designed to cope with it if we don’t do something about it now.”
Premier Ford said the province is ready to share with the public its models and walk through Ontario's story and suggested province's next steps would be decided by the projections of the model.
Although due to unpredictable nature of COVID-19, the models circulated in other countries are imprecise, but still they have informed policy makers on how best to combat the virus.
Gloomy charts released Monday by U.S. President Donald Trump and his top health officials predict death of as many as 200,000 people in U.S. even if strict social distancing measures are followed.
The prediction also said that there could be more potential fatalities if some states allow social and economic life to continue.
The United Kingdom altered its national COVID-19 plan after an Imperial College of London model predicted that without drastic interventions, as many as half a million people would die from the virus in that country.
New Zealand's health ministry, which had its research conducted by the University of Otago, estimated the virus could sicken up to 64 percent of the population of that nation, and an estimated 14,400 people, or 0.29 percent of the population, could die of COVID-19.
New Zealand is currently under a four-week lockdown.