Canada closer, but still off when it comes to hitting death projections


Actual COVID-19-related deaths once again surpassed the Government of Canada’s earlier projections for May 5.

Last week, the Public Health Agency of Canada projected deaths could be anywhere between 3,200 and almost 3,900, when the actual count hit over 4,100. 

“Again these are not exact numbers,” Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Theresa Tam said Wednesday, reiterating projections are estimates that can vary. “But they’re in the right kind of ballpark.” 

While the count was worse than projected, the government has gotten closer from earlier projections. 

For example on April 9th the estimate of 500 to 700 deaths for April 16th, turned out to be more than double, attributed to the specific outbreaks in long-term care. 

Tam once again pointed to those outbreaks for the increasing count as provincial governments grapple with handling seniors being affected, with more armed forces personnel being dispatched to those facilities. 

“Unfortunately and tragically what’s happening right now is that those who have been infected of course, coming to the end of their clinical outcomes and with so many long-term care facilities affected, I think that the number of deaths will continue to increase,” she said. 

She said the good news is the epidemic is still slowing down, pointing to the pace of new daily cases continuing to decrease, with the government reporting it recently went from every 16 days to every 20, although various experts have called for more mass testing which could affect the numbers. 

Tam said they’ll have to revise their projections for both cases and deaths. 

“If there’s more long-term care facility outbreaks, that is where the energy should be put in,” she said.