Military to help fight COVID in Quebec; deaths pass 150 as cases near 12,000

Canada’s death rate stands at about one per cent of those who’ve tested coronavirus positive

The military is moving into northern Quebec at the province’s request to help remote communities cope in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday as political and health leaders urged Canadians to avoid leaving home unless necessary.

Latest figures indicate close to 12,000 Canadians have contracted the virus. Of those, 152 have died, but the numbers could be much higher given gaps in reporting methods.

Trudeau has said national modelling would come soon but required more data from provincial and territorial governments.

In an interview late Thursday with The Canadian Press, Health Minister Patty Hajdu said her estimate from three weeks ago that between 30 per cent and 70 per cent of Canadians will likely become infected hasn’t changed.

“Having 70 per cent of people get COVID is not the end of the world,” Hajdu said. “It is, though, if it all happens at once and that’s what we’re trying to prevent.”

At the moment, Canada’s death rate stands at about one per cent of those who’ve tested coronavirus positive.

Experts say the flu-like illness poses a threat to the elderly and those with compromised health. The best way to curb the spread and ease the burden on an already stressed health-care system is to wash hands frequently and stay at least two metres away from others. Hospitals have reported shortages of personal protective gear for medical staff, while front-line doctors fret about having to choose who lives and who dies owing to potential shortages of crucial ventilators.

In tribute to health-care personnel, all ships in B.C. waters will sound their horns at 7 p.m. local time. Toronto’s CN Tower has been lighting up blue in a similar show of solidarity, while people in other places have taken to banging on pots or pans to show their support.

The pandemic — in particular the stay-at-home measures implemented to try to mitigate its spread — has taken a brutal toll on the economy and jobs.

Trudeau said the government would provide additional aid to low-income people through the GST credit this month rather than next. Qualifying adults will receive up to $300, plus $150 for each child.

To help cushion the financial blow, the country’s six largest banks have deferred more than 10 per cent of the mortgages in their portfolios for up to six months.

The Canadian Bankers Association banks had received almost 500,000 requests for deferrals or to skip a payment. However, interest on the deferred payments is expected to accrue during the deferral phase, meaning consumers will eventually have to cover the amount.

Globally, the pandemic has now infected more than one million people and killed close to 55,000, according to latest official tracking figures. China, where the virus is believed to have originated, has gradually been seeing life return to normal after draconian lockdown measures curbed the spread.

Italy, with almost 14,000 deaths and Spain with about 11,000, have been hit hardest. The United States, however, leads the world in cases — a quarter of a million to date — and has reported more than 6,000 deaths.

– with files from Joan Bryden in Ottawa and other Canadian Press reporters across the country

Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Williams Lake RCMP receive reports of possible counterfeit US currency

Anyone who comes in contact with money appearing to be counterfeit is asked to contact police

Rain prompts travel advisories, road closures in Cache Creek area

No stopping during heavy rain on highways near Cache Creek

Cariboo waterways swell as special weather statement, rain continues Thursday July 2

Quesnel River at Likely and Quesnel Lake seeing 20 to 50 year events

Horsefly Volunteer Fire Dept. certifies in swiftwater rescue technician

Ten members trained with instructor Jordan Thompson

Station House Gallery eyes reopening with unique shows

When the next art exhibit opens at Williams Lake’s The Station House… Continue reading

‘This year is unlike any other’: Trudeau delivers Canada day address

Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and the Prime Minister release video celebrating the national holiday

Canada Day tractor incident kills three children, injures seven in Quebec

The tractor driver has been arrested following the accident

Undercover operation exposes prominent human trafficking problem in Greater Victoria

VicPD’s Operation No More took place in mid-June at a local hotel

PHOTOS: Dual rallies take over Legislature lawn on Canada Day

Resist Canada 153 highlighted colonization and genocide, Unify the People called COVID a hoax

Gov. General honours Canadians for bravery, volunteer service

Five categories of winners presented on Canada Day

COVID-19: Should non-medical masks be mandatory in Canada?

New poll shows Canadians are divided on the rules around mandatory masks

‘A little bit scary for everybody’: Air passengers wary as new rules take effect

Masks or face coverings have been mandatory on flights since April 20

VIDEO: Prince William and Kate chat with B.C. hospital staff about COVID-19

Seven-minute video posted to Youtube on Canada Day

Most Read