COVID-19 in Canada: Trudeau urges provincial, municipal leaders to implement ‘targeted shutdowns’; Ontario reports record number of new COVID-19 cases
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‘Beating COVID is the only way to protect our economy,’ Trudeau says
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau began a press conference on Tuesday by identifying that the “record numbers” of COVID-19 cases in Manitoba are “really concerning.”
On Monday, the province reported 365 new COVID-19 cases with a test positivity rate of 9.5 per cent. Infections have also been surging in Indigenous communities in the province, in particular.
Trudeau announced the federal government is partnering with Manitoba First Nations to provide $61 million in “immediate funding” to support their response to the pandemic, and Indigenous Services Canada is mobilizing contact tracers and equipment to impacted communities.
“With rising cases of COVID-19 here at home, there’s added pressure on all orders of government to keep people safe and to protect jobs,” the prime minister said. “But I would hope that no leader in our country is easing public health vigilance because they feel pressure not to shut down businesses to slow down our economy.
“I understand that worry but let me tell you, that’s how we end up with businesses going out of business and the economy damaged even more. Beating COVID is the only way to protect our economy.”
Trudeau is urging premiers and mayor across Canada to “do the right thing” and “act now” to protect public health, including reaching out to the federal government if more support is needed and implementing “targeted shutdowns” and restrictions, where necessary.
“If businesses go under because of the COVID-19 pandemic surges, we end up worse off in the recovery,” the prime minister said. “That’s why we certainly encourage the provinces to act quickly to control the spread of this virus with the measures that..scientists and experts around the world [agree] are effective.
Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, stressed that it’s critically important that Canadians do all they can to limit COVID-19 transmission, particular in the winter season where the cold weather provides “better opportunities” for the spread of respiratory viruses.
“It is clear we have yet to bend the curve on accelerated growth in Canada,” Dr. Tam said. “Going into this respiratory season, COVID-19 is already well ahead of us.”