Sadly, the seniors have borne the worst brunt when it comes to the novel coronavirus, with 79% of all deaths across the nation linked to either senior or long-term care homes. This has increased within two weeks, when at that point in time, the number affect 50%.
These figures were recently provided by Dr. Theresa Tam, Chief Public Health Officer for Canada, along with deputy Dr. Howard Njoo.
According to a Globe and Mail report, the numbers revealed provinces that experienced the hardest hit as it relates to long-term care and COVID-19 were Ontario, Nova Scotia, and Quebec, where single facilities hit double digits when it came to virus-related deaths.
Despite these depressing numbers, Dr. Tam has stated that Canada is improving overall, and slowing down the spread of the virus. Last month, cases were doubling every three days, and now they are only doing this every 16 days.
While news does look good, according to Tam, mass gatherings such as sporting events, concerts, and festivals are not in the foreseeable future. She added that health officials need to contain outbreaks in areas where physical distancing is not possible, like long-term cares, shelters, food-processing facilities, and prisons.
While the death rate has increased this month, Public Health has not updated projections around mortality linked to COVID-19 during this pandemic. Rather, it is still basing its planning around this pandemic on a 1.2% death rate. Dr. Tam stated the agency was sticking to that rate as the country is only experiencing its first wave, and it could all change. She also continued to side-step questions around why Public Health has not been forthcoming as it relates to assumptions and methods around its projections.
As per the G&M report, lack of Tam and the agency being open can make it challenging to understand and compare why federal numbers deviate from other models. A fine example of this is that Canada’s predications via the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation saw numbers that were higher within the time frame, that is, just over 3,800 deaths (2,730 to 6,814 with a probability of 95%).
Gaining access to a full breakdown around the feds’ numbers and models could also assist the public and academic researchers to understand how the virus will play out when it comes to Canada, its differing regions, ethnicity and economic status, and age – plus, how it might impact the pandemic picture, overall.