Canadians need to do more to tackle a second wave of the coronavirus by slashing the number of personal contacts they have with others, health authorities said on Friday.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said more targeted measures could help avert another major national shutdown of the kind that hammered the economy earlier in the year.
Released modeling updates show the cumulative death toll in the country could range between 10,285 and 10,400 by Nov 8. Cumulative cases could be between 251,800 and 262,200 by the same date.
"(The) long-range forecast indicates that a stronger response is needed now to slow the spread of COVID-19," chief public health officer Theresa Tam told a briefing.
"If we decrease our current rate of contacts by 25% the epidemic is forecast to come under control in most locations," she said.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
Canada has recorded 10,074 deaths and 228,542 cases so far and is breaking daily records for the number of new cases.
Suncor Energy , Canada’s second-biggest oil producer, confirmed 19 infections among workers at its Firebag oil sands site in Alberta, dating back to Oct. 18. All of those affected are in isolation at home or other locations, spokeswoman Erin Rees said.
Suncor shut down part of the site where 17 of the employees worked, but the outbreak has not affected oil production, she said.
Some provinces are reintroducing bans on indoor dining and limiting the size of gatherings.
Manitoba, which has the highest rate of active cases per capita among provinces, said it would tighten restrictions starting on Monday. In Winnipeg, where most cases are located, all restaurants and bars will close to in-person dining.
Trudeau said authorities know more now about the pandemic than they did six months ago.
"There are things we can do to help to control the pandemic, the second wave, without - we hope - having to impose a nationwide shutdown," he told the briefing.