The coronavirus could reportedly infect 35 to 70 percent of Canadians and the country may need to implement quarantine centres and makeshift hospitals to avoid further spread of the virus.
Researchers at the University of Toronto have made a disease-transmission model to attempt to find the overall attack rate of the virus in Canada. Research from the model suggests that the rate could surpass 70 percent if no public health interventions are implemented according to the National Post.
According to Dr. David Fisman, a researcher behind the model, that number could drop by about half “if we add modest control.” He added that it will take “aggressive social distancing and large scale quarantines” to reduce the spread of the virus.
In an email, Fisman said, “That’s still a huge number of people ill, and critically ill people are a large fraction in this disease. I’m not going to share more specific numbers because I think they will scare people to no particular end.”
Fisman and his team are experienced in the field as they have dealt with SARS, Ebola and H1N1. Their model makes estimations on how many people will become infected by a single infected person as well as the amount of cases that are going undetected. This true number of cases is believed to be much higher than the confirmed counts.
“China’s epidemic was controlled through massive quarantine, enforced via threats of death penalty, and with lockdown of 750,000 people at peak,” said Fisman.
After the country’s first confirmed death from coronavirus, Canadians are beginning to take the virus more seriously. Though most people are able to make a full recovery from the virus, some people are not so lucky.
The Canadian who lost his life was in his 80s and had underlying health problems. He was staying in a nursing home in North Vancouver and died on Sunday night.
There are now at least 80 cases of the virus and 1 recorded death in Canada as of Tuesday.