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article imageCanadians warned of tighter COVID-19 restrictions as cases climb

By Karen Graham     Sep 24, 2020 in Health
Ottawa - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in a 12-minute takeover of evening television viewing, warned Canadians that a second wave of the coronavirus has arrived in many parts of the country, reiterating the message of Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam.
“We’re on the brink of a fall that could be much worse than the spring,” Trudeau said Wednesday, according to Politico. “It’s all too likely we won’t be gathering for Thanksgiving [Oct. 12], but we still have a shot at Christmas.”
Trudeau, who had requested airtime on major TV networks, a rare request by a prime minister, noted that the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic has already started. Daily case numbers have gone from about 300 cases a day in mid-August to 1,248 by Tuesday, with most outbreaks in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec.
Trudeau, dressed in a somber dark suit and tie also noted that when the country went into lockdown on March 13, there were 47 new cases of the virus. “Yesterday alone, we had well over 1,000,” said Trudeau, reports Axios.
On Tuesday, at a news conference in Ottawa, Canadians were updated by health authorities on the risks of the virus ballooning to higher levels, with Canada's Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam warning that “Our actions right now are what matters for keeping epidemic growth under control.”
"To date, we're not moving fast enough to get ahead of this," said Dr. Michael Gardam, an infectious disease physician based at a Women's College Hospital in Toronto, according to CBC News, Canada.
"I think we're being lulled into a false sense of security because of the low numbers of hospitalizations and deaths [relative to earlier in the pandemic]. But they will come in the next six weeks or so."
Dr. Gardam says the rime has passed where asking people "nicely" to adhere to stricter restrictions to control the virus won't work. "I think that appealing to people's better natures — that, hey, you should be careful and you should make sure you limit your contacts — I don't think that that's going to work, to be perfectly frank."
"I would argue that we need to be very cautious, like we were back in March, in order to weather the storm from all the increased contacts that we've had."
Unlike in the United States, where the pandemic has been a political football and all efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus have been limited, Canadians have a very good chance of reversing and stopping the second wave of the virus dead in its tracks.
"If you want to keep the restaurants open and bars, maybe you have to give up your private gatherings," Dr. Gardam said. "Because if you just increase in every dimension, if you increase the number of contacts that you have, this is going to go to hell real quick."
Dr. Samir Gupta, a clinician-scientist at St. Michael's Hospital and an assistant professor in the department of medicine at the University of Toronto, spoke with Heather Hiscox on CBC Morning Live Wednesday. He said Canadians "need to start making similar sacrifices to the ones we made the first time around," which was successful with flattening the curve in the spring.
Without enforcement and a real commitment, "we risk overwhelming our health-care system capacity … [and getting] into real trouble," he said.
More about Canada, coronavirus, Second wave, Justin trudeau, spiral out of control
 
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