Canadian coronavirus data trending in right direction: Trudeau

By David Ljunggren OTTAWA (Reuters) - The number of people with the new coronavirus in Canada is trending in the right direction but strict physical distancing will need to stay in place for the time being, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Sunday. The remarks by Trudeau were some of his most upbeat since the crisis began in March.

Reuters April 20, 2020 00:10:34 IST
Canadian coronavirus data trending in right direction: Trudeau

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By David Ljunggren

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The number of people with the new coronavirus in Canada is trending in the right direction but strict physical distancing will need to stay in place for the time being, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Sunday.

The remarks by Trudeau were some of his most upbeat since the crisis began in March.

The total number of people killed by the coronavirus in Canada rose by just under 12% to 1,506 in a day, official public health agency data showed on Sunday. The figure for those diagnosed with the coronavirus had climbed to 33,922.

The respective figures on Saturday were 1,346 deaths and 32,412 positive diagnoses.

As many countries have done during the pandemic, authorities across Canada ordered the closure of non-essential businesses, throwing millions out of work, and urged people to stay at home. In response, Ottawa has unveiled more than C$200 billion in programs to help dull the economic pain.

"All these measures we've brought in are about helping you do the things that will get us through this. And it's working - we're seeing the numbers trend in the right direction so we need to keep doing what we're doing," Trudeau told a daily briefing.

He later added: "People need to know that it (the economy) is not suddenly going to reopen in any part of the country overnight to what it was before. We are going to have to be very very careful (and) very gradual" to prevent a resurgence.

Other political parties have generally supported the Liberal government's approach but strains are growing over the temporary suspension of Parliament agreed last month. The official opposition Conservatives, who want more oversight of the emergency spending, are pressing for regular sessions.

All 338 Parliamentarians are due back in Ottawa on Monday and the Conservatives are opposing a Liberal plan to have a smaller number of legislators meet just once a week. This proposal requires unanimous agreement by all parties.

"Right now the Conservatives are not taking a responsible approach," Trudeau said, adding it made no sense in a time of social isolation to have every member of Parliament and their staff as well as security personnel gather together.

Trudeau is also proposing a number of virtual sessions each week but said the technology to do so was not available yet.

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer is due to speak to reporters later on Sunday.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Grant McCool)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

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