Canada is beginning to lift lockdown measures after months of strict regulations. Nevertheless, Canadians are still contracting the virus and cases remain high in some of the hardest-hit provinces.
Although Ontario and Quebec have managed to flatten the curve, they have no idea where new cases are contracting the virus from. Ultimately, Canada will be reopening the country without knowing the consequences it could bring.
“It’s scary. There’s a large sense of unknown there,” said Dr. Michael Gardam, an infectious disease specialist and chief of staff at Humber River Hospital in Toronto and a veteran of SARS and H1N1.
“And there’s no way around the fact that this is uncomfortable.”
Ontario has begun to experience a scaling trend within new daily cases, meaning testing has slumped below targets. Health officials have started to voice their concerns on lifting lockdown measures considering the current circumstances.
Medical Officer of Health for Peel Region, west of Toronto, Dr. Lawrence Loh, communicated that the move to reopen the province was “out of step” considering the “continuing risk” that the coronavirus pandemic holds. Dr. Loh suggested waiting to lift restrictions all together.
“We have seen our new cases starting to plateau, but we have just not seen a decline in line with the province’s own framework for reopening at this point,” he said, adding that Ontario held 20% of all recent COVID-19 cases last week.
Loh pointed out that the current new cases, that are between 300 and 500 a day, reflect the same numbers as when lockdown began.