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Coronavirus pandemic: Updates from around the world

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Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer
Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer CTV Network

Canada released a new epidemic snapshot Tuesday and updated modeling that shows its epidemic growth rate is slower than in most countries, including the United States, but also shows a death rate higher than earlier predicted.

Canadian public health officials say the epidemic growth is slowing. About a month ago it was doubling every three days but is now doubling every 16 days.

However, Canada is now reporting nearly 3,000 deaths from Covid-19, much higher than originally predicted.

“We are seeing the tragic paradox of the epidemic playing out,” said Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer during a presentation of the new modeling Tuesday.

“As the epidemic comes under control, and the growth of cases slows, the severe outcomes and deaths continue to accrue, as Covid-19 takes a heavy toll among highly susceptible populations,” Tam said. 

Canada is currently dealing with hundreds of outbreaks in long-term care homes throughout the country. Government statistics released Tuesday show that 79% of deaths across the country are related to outbreaks in care centers.

“Outbreaks in long-term care and seniors’ homes are driving epidemic growth in Quebec, Ontario and Nova Scotia and are responsible for the majority of all deaths in Canada,” Tam said. 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that while Canada was flattening the curve, distancing measures and some closures would remain in place for some time. 

“We’re in the middle of the most serious public health emergency Canada has ever seen and if we lift measures too quickly, we might lose the progress we’ve made,” Trudeau said during a news conference in Ottawa on Tuesday.

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