The coronavirus pandemic could kill between 11,000 and 22,000 people in Canada, the government projected Thursday.
It said the country could see between 934,000 and 1.9 million cases of COVID-19 by the time the pandemic ends, assuming Canadians observe strict social distancing and other safety measures over the next few months.
These are the federal government’s first projections on the pandemic’s possible toll in Canada.
As of Thursday morning the virus had killed 476 people in Canada, according to figures provided by provincial authorities.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has been in self-isolation since his wife Sophie tested positive for coronavirus last month, said Monday he would try to keep working from home “as much as possible.”
“I’m planning on returning to the office in the coming days, but my work will be continuing overwhelmingly from home,” he said during his daily news conference outside Rideau Cottage, his official residence in Ottawa.
“I’m going to continue working from home as much as possible,” he said.
“That is what we are asking everyone to do. We are asking people to stay at home if it’s possible, and, as we showed in the last three weeks... working from home has been very good in this situation,” he said.
Trudeau’s wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, announced on March 28 that she had recovered from the coronavirus.
Canadians “should expect to continue staying home for at least a few more weeks, even a few months,” said Trudeau, stressing that any decisions would depend on “models and predictions.”
“Let’s stay at home, continue this period of self-isolation and social distancing, that is the best way of getting out of this as quickly as possible,” he said.
He also said that the Canadian parliament, which has been suspended for three weeks, would most likely have a “virtual” session in the coming days to allow as many lawmakers as possible to join debates on pressing laws that need to be adopted.
Canada reported early Monday a total of 16,000 coronavirus cases, including 300 deaths.