Dr. Theresa Tam, the Chief Public Health Officer said yesterday that coronavirus will be contracted by less than one in ten Canadian residents, though the modelling data behind the statement was not released, according to Blacklock's Reporter.
The claim was referred to by one epidemiologist as “unscientific rubbish.”
“Canada is aiming for strong epidemic control over the course of the pandemic with less than ten percent of the population infected overall,” said Tam. “transmission is largely under control” though “cases can emerge any time or place.”
“We are using modelling to identify the combinations and intensity of public health measures we need to maintain control, stamp outbreaks and prevent a widespread resurgence of cases,” she added.
“Models provide a prediction of what could happen under hypothetical scenarios, allowing us to drive our public health actions towards a best possible outcome.”
Data behind the Public Health Agency's pandemic modelling has never been released.
“This claims to be a data-driven forecast,” Amir Attaran, a professor at the University of Ottawa’s School of Epidemiology.
“Where is the model?” he continued. “How come none of us have seen this model?” said Attaran. “Model is not just a five-letter word. It is a mathematical calculation. They have never discussed this model. It may be modeling or it might be fakery, but the model has never been disclosed.”
“Norway, Germany, these countries disclose their modeling in microscopic detail,” Attaran said. “That’s how serious countries deal with this.”
Attaran claims that there’s no rationale for the Public Health Agency’s low rate of infection forecast.
Dr. Howard Njoo, the deputy chief public health officer for the agency said in a YouTube video on may 28 that infection rates are more likely to be “thirty percent up to seventy percent of the population.”
“Left to its own devices there is no way this pandemic will magically stop at a ten percent infection rate,” said Professor Attaran in an interview. “There is no way. I think they recognize how stupid that is, and realize it is unscientific rubbish.”
The agency added that about 15 percent of Canadian residents who contracted the virus became hospitalized, while eight percent died. This percentage is as low as one percent in Australia and as high as 18 percent in France.