Father Victor Fernandes puts on personal protection equipment prior to visiting with a patient in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in Vancouver, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Canada’s top doctor says measures ‘starting to pay off’, even as COVID-19 deaths near 2,500

A total of 45,791 Canadians have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed the lives of 2,489 Canadians and led to 45,791 test positive cases, even as the country’s top doctor said measures to slow the spread are beginning to pay off.

In a statement released Sunday (April 26) in lieu of a live update, Dr. Theresa Tam said “Canadians are making huge sacrifices to help stop the spread of COVID-19.”

Although measures range across the country, B.C. residents have seen restaurants and salons shutter and long-standing events like the Celebration of Light and the PNE fair cancelled. The province has recorded 100 deaths and 1,948 total test positive cases as of Saturday. Of the total number of cases, 1,137 patients have recovered, health officials said.

“These actions are starting to pay off, as we are seeing some encouraging results,” Tam said.

“The road is still long, but what we continue to do today will benefit us tomorrow.”

It’s not yet known when B.C. will loosen physical distancing measures, although an update on re-opening the province is expected in mid-May. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has said that any pre-vaccine re-opening will be a “new normal” for B.C., and will not look like life before the virus appeared.

The last modelling release by the Public Health Agency of Canada on April 9 said proper safety measures could keep deaths between 11,000 and 22,000, if the percentage of people infected stays between 2.5 and five per cent. That would mean between 940,000 and 1,879,000 people infected, respectively. As of Sunday, 691,000 people had been tested for the virus with seven per cent positive.

READ MORE: Controls can keep Canadian COVID-19 deaths under 22,000, health agency says

READ MORE: Plan in the works for safe re-opening of B.C. restaurants amid COVID-19

READ MORE: B.C.’s COVID-19 death toll reaches 100; 95 new cases with nearly half from prison outbreak

READ MORE: Hints of COVID-19 relief for B.C. as restaurants, haircuts considered


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