Canada at tipping point in fight against coronavirus, says gloomy prime minister Trudeau
OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada is at a tipping point in the fight against a second wave of the novel coronavirus and health care workers are increasingly swamped, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in notably downbeat comments on Friday. Trudeau spoke shortly after health officials said authorities needed to immediately adopt a stronger response to the pandemic
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada is at a tipping point in the fight against a second wave of the novel coronavirus and health care workers are increasingly swamped, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in notably downbeat comments on Friday.
Trudeau spoke shortly after health officials said authorities needed to immediately adopt a stronger response to the pandemic. Short-term forecasts suggested the number of new infections would continue to accelerate, they said.
"We are at a tipping point in this pandemic. Not only is the second wave under way, (but) yesterday we hit the highest daily record for cases, well above what we saw this spring," Trudeau told a news conference.
"I know this is discouraging ... the increase in new cases is putting an enormous pressure on hospitals and health care workers, who are more and more swamped."
The health officials released forecasts projecting the cumulative death toll in Canada could reach between 9,690 and 9,800 by Oct. 17, up from 9,557 now. They said cases could total 188,150 to 197,830 by the same date, compared to 175,559 today.
Almost 80% of the cases have been recorded in Ontario and Quebec, the two most populous provinces, where local governments are imposing more restrictions on gatherings.
(Additional reporting by Julie Gordon in Ottawa and Allison Lampert in Montreal; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Grant McCool)
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