Canada COVID-19 Daily Cases Could Soar by End of 2020, Say Medical Officials in Grim Forecast

By Reuters Staff

November 23, 2020

OTTAWA (Reuters) - New daily cases of COVID-19 in Canada could soar to 60,000 by the end of the year, up from less than 5,000 now, if people increase their daily contacts, the country's top medical official said in a grim forecast on Friday.

Even if current restrictions on gatherings are maintained, new daily cases will jump to more than 20,000 over the same time period, chief public health officer Theresa Tam told a briefing. Only if people cut back their personal contacts can the situation be kept stable.

Several Canadian provinces are reimposing restrictions on movement and businesses as a second wave of the pandemic rips across the country. Federal and provincial politicians complain people are being more careless about taking precautions.

"The more people who get this disease, the harder it is to control," Health Minister Patty Hajdu told a briefing. "This wave is undeniably harder. We are all tired, we are all lonely, and we all want our lives back, but we can't give up now."

To underline the seriousness of the situation Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will address Canadians at 11:30 am ET (1630 GMT) from his personal residence, where he held daily briefings when much of Canada was locked down earlier in the year.

The officials said that by Nov. 30 the total death toll could be between 11,870 and 12,120, with the total number of cases between 366,500 and 378,600. Canada has recorded a total of 315,751 cases and 11,265 deaths so far.