Ford Government Predicts 80,000 Infected With Covid-19 By End Of April
Ontario Premier Doug Ford and his team stepped up to the plate today, revealing the devastating projected numbers of the soaring COVID-19 infections and death rate. The Ontario government revealed that, according to its April 1, 2020, projections, if the current protective measures (physical distancing and staying at home, among others) remain in place, the province can expect 80,000 people to become infected and 1,600 to have succumbed to the virus by the end of April 2020. These numbers are based on computer models projecting tracks. In addition, according to provincial projections, Ontario will have to add another 900 intensive care unit beds to deal with the anticipated increase in patients even in a best-case scenario.
President and CEO of Public Health Ontario, Dr. Peter Donnelly, alongside president and CEO of Ontario Health, Matthew Anderson, and dean of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, Adalsteinn Brown, revealed the projected numbers at Queen’s Park in Toronto.
However, health officials admitted the April death toll could be as low as 200 if the province moves to “full future intervention” and more people stay home.
“We are following a trajectory somewhat similar to that in the United States, but not quite as good currently as that in British Columbia,” Donnelly revealed.
Subsequent data also suggests that Ontario could have possibly seen 300,000 cases of COVID-19 and 6,000 deaths by the end of April if there had been no government action or intervention.
In addition, Donnelly pointed out the numbers are somewhat inexact. “But I would hasten to say that when one tracks cases, it really is rather difficult to know exactly where you stand. You have to watch it extremely carefully, because it is rather dependent upon who you test for the disease.”
Eventually, when the pandemic has ended, if all public measures stay in place, the government has predicted between 3,000 and 15,000 people will die, based on its current modelling system. Donnelly admitted that the range is wide, but said it is entirely possible to be on the higher end.
“When you remember that we have no vaccine, we have no specific treatment, and this is a disease which is entirely new to the population, then suddenly the figure of 15,000 becomes entirely logical and comprehensible,” Donnelly said, adding that it is absolutely imperative to practise physical distancing, among other measures implemented by the government.
As of 11 a.m. on Friday, April 3, 98 people have died from COVID-19 in Ontario, with a total of 3,407 infections, up 14.9 per cent from the same time Thursday.
According to Donnelly, the province has now eliminated the backlog of tests. “That is important, because that now allows us to use tests in a very focused and strategic way.”
“We must take these warnings seriously,” Premier Ford said. “We must recognize that the numbers also show that everything we’ve done so far, everything we’ve done together since this started, is working. Thanks goes to every person out there listening to the advice of our health professionals, staying at home, keeping their distance and doing what they can to keep this virus contained,” he said. “The numbers clearly show that we have collectively saved thousands of lives.”
On the brighter side, as of April 2, of the 3,255 documented cases of COVID-19 in the province, 1,023 have recovered.