On Wednesday, politicians told Canadians they can expect to continue social distancing for weeks or even months, though they would not release their estimates on the potential number of infections or deaths to come as a result of COVID-19, according to the National Post.
Leaders at the federal and provincial level continued to stress that Canadians need to continue taking precautions to fight the spread of the virus.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford noted that if the projections were released, they may create panic.
“There are a few different models and if we give one or the other it sends two different messages,” he said. “These models could drastically, drastically change. If we underestimate on one side and overestimate on the other, [it could] create a panic if we overestimate.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also spoke on the subject, saying, “There are a wide range of projections depending on how Canadians are behaving.”
Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam and Health Minister Patty Hajdu also decided not to release the projections.
“It is not as easy of an answer as I think it would seem, in that different ranges can be anticipated in different ways depending on the measures that have been taken, the effectiveness of those measures, when they have been taken,” Hadju said.
“This is a sneaky virus. We may feel only mildly ill, some people don’t feel ill at all,” she said. “We have to act as though we are all carrying this virus.”
Tam agreed saying, “Together with the other chief medical officers, we have been looking at planning different scenarios, but all of us recognize that right now how you influence the trajectory of this is dependent on what we are doing.”
Conservative MP Matt Jeneroux believes that sharing the information with Canadians will help the country to understand the importance of the situation.
“You have enough buy in. Canadians are staying at home, they’re practicing social distancing measures, but the big question is how long do we have to do this for?”
“The more information that Canadians are provided with, will drive home how important this really is.”
Data released by British Columbia on Friday shows that the province’s hospitals should have the ability to properly care for patients if cases continue to increase at the current rate.
Alberta said that it will be releasing its models by the end of the week.
There were 9,017 cases of coronavirus and 105 deaths in Canada as of Wednesday.
The National Post reported that internal documents show that the federal government believes that the current measures being implemented could last until at least July.
When asked about the estimate during his daily briefing, Trudeau said, “We have been open and transparent with Canadians on the facts. And I’ve said from the very beginning that there are a wide range of scenarios that we have been looking for, that we’re planning for.”
“We know that they’re going to be in place for a number of more weeks, perhaps more months, but everything depends on how Canadians behave.”