Federal officials released Canada’s projections for the extent of the spread of COVID-19 and what to expect in the coming weeks and months. Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Officer said the country is to expect a total of 22,580 to 31,580 cases by April 16th, that’s next week.

The projections say Canada will see 500 to 700 total deaths related to COVID-19 by April 16th. That takes into account the number of total cases doubling every three to five days, which Dr. Howard Njoo, the Deputy Chief Public Health Officer, says is a positive trajectory compared to other countries.

According to data collected from Provinces and Territories to date, about 94-percent of cases in Canada are localized to four provinces in decreasing order; Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta. With 98-percent of the country’s deaths reported being in Ontario, Quebec British Columbia, and Alberta, also in decreasing order.

At least 198 out of the total 401 reported deaths have occurred among residents of long-term care homes in the country. Nevertheless, Dr. Tam says that these numbers do not paint a complete picture, mainly because we know that lab-confirmed deaths are not the only ones attributed to the virus.

The projections further indicate that if stronger to moderate controls are in place, about 11,000 to 300,000 deaths are to be expected over the whole duration of the pandemic. This takes into account between 2.5-percent to 5-percent of the population getting the virus, amounting to about a total of 934,000 to 1,879,000 Canadians getting the virus over the next months.

Dr. Tam and Dr. Njoo explained how Canada is in the early stages of its COVID-19 outbreak, explaining that what the federal government is aiming to do, is reduce the impact as much as possible by pushing the country’s curve of the rate of spread down. Dr. Tam stated that if each person with COVID-19 infects less than one person on average, the epidemic dies out.

Dr. Tam said these projections are based on provincial projections released over the past weeks. She explains that while the numbers released today may look stark, but what we do together now to reduce the impact of COVID-19, will buy us more time to better understand the virus and to develop treatments and vaccines.

**Written by Mo Fahim