Canada could see 11,000 to 22,000 deaths due to COVID-19
Chris Herhalt, CP24.com
Published Thursday, April 9, 2020 5:13AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, April 9, 2020 4:17PM EDT
Canada as a whole could see between 11,000 and 22,000 deaths due to COVID-19 over the length of the pandemic, modelling produced by federal health officials suggests.
Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam says that while there are regional differences between outbreaks in different provinces, her team suggests somewhere between 2.5 and 5 per cent of Canada’s population will eventually become infected with the novel coronavirus.
With 2.5 per cent of the population infected, Canada would see 934,000 cases, 23,000 patients admitted to intensive care units, and 11,000 deaths.
With 5 per cent of the population infected, Canada would see 1,879,000 cases, 46,000 admissions to intensive care units and 22,000 deaths.
In an absolute ideal best case scenario, with only 1 per cent of Canada's 37 million people infected, deaths could be kept to 4,400.
“It’s important to recognize that models are not a crystal but show what could happen,” Tam said.
These projections assume the whole country retains strict physical distancing and workplace closure measures in effect today.
More than 400 Canadians have so far died of COVID-19 infection.
In the next seven days, federal scientists believe between 100-300 more Canadians will die, with a total of between 22,580 to 31,850 cases confirmed by April 16.
At its worst, Tam and her team say the pandemic could continue at least in some limited form until the spring of 2021, but could largely end by the fall if current measures remain in place.