Chief Public Health Officer of Canada Dr. Theresa Tam confirmed that there are more than 10,400 COVID-19 cases in Canada and 111 deaths. About 260,000 tests have been conducted across the country, with 3.5 per cent confirmed positive and 95 per cent confirmed negative.
Dr. Tam said that the positive rate is “within a good range” for accurate detection of where the disease is circulating but if we drop below this rate, Canada may be “casting our net too wide.”
She added that people in longterm care homes, hospitals and healthcare workers should be prioritized. Dr. Tam said Canada “must double down” to stop the spread in these settings.
Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services, said there are 15 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Indigenous communities and the federal government is working to bring a “significant” amount of personal protective equipment to these areas.
When asked about Canadian provinces losing out in the bidding process for protective equipment in international markets, like China, Minister of Health Patty Hajdu urged provincial and territorial governments to bulk purchase these items with the federal government, in order to have “Team Canada” behind the bid.
Hajdu added that the allocation of this equipment across Canada is based on population but some is also held back, based on need.
‘In order to do modelling we need accurate data’
Minister Hajdu received questions about when the federal government will share modelling data and analysis. She echoed the prime minister’s thoughts from earlier in the day.
“In order to do modelling we need accurate data,” Hajdu said, adding that the federal government continues to work with provincial and territorial leaders on this.
Dr. Tam said her team is currently looking at how we interpret the information received from provincial and territorial leaders, and experts are figuring out where the curve is heading. She added that you can’t look too far ahead, for example, months ahead.
Minister Hajdu also addressed reports that China hid the extent of the spread of COVID-19.
“There is no indication that the data that came out of China in terms of the infection rate and their death rate was falsified in any way,” she said.
Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs François-Philippe Champagne said the government is “very much aware” of reports of disinformation.
“We are very much aware of the stories that are going around the world,” he said. “People watching at home deserve answers, they deserve data, they deserve the truth when it comes to actual data.”
“We are well aware of the fact that we need to work on a multilateral basis to provide the most accurate information.”
Repatriation of Canadians
Minister Champagne said the government has been able to facilitate the return of thousands of Canadians to date.
More than 40 more flights from more than 30 countries will be arriving to Canada. These countries include Peru, Colombia, India, Pakistan, Poland, Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago, and various African countries.
Canadians on the Zaandem cruise ship will be able to return home once it docks in Florida