Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday urged Canadians to stay home, avoid contact with others and follow public health rules to help slow the spread of COVID-19, after health officials warned of a possible explosive surge in virus cases.
In a televised news conference outside his residence at Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Trudeau asked Canadians to resist the temptation to let their guard down after 10 months of making sacrifices.
Trudeau said, “We are facing [a] winter that’s going to drive people inside more and more, and we’re really at risk of seeing caseloads go up, and hospitals get overwhelmed, and more loved ones dying.” He said people must do everything they can to slow the spread of the virus.
The prime minister’s plea follows grim news earlier Friday from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, said she expects the number of new daily cases to reach 20,000 per day — up from just under 5,000 per day currently — if Canadians maintain their current number of personal contacts.
But she warned that number could spike to 60,000 a day by the end of December if Canadians increase their current level of contact with other people, a possible scenario with the Christmas holiday season looming.
Tam said if people limit their interactions to essential activities while maintaining physical distancing and adhering to other public health guidelines, the number could be reduced to less than 10,000 daily.
Trudeau said “a normal Christmas is quite frankly right out of the question.”
As of Friday, Canada had recorded a total of 319,229 cases and 11,314 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Source: Voice Of America