Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned that the country could be sent "back into confinement this summer" if businesses reopen too quickly. "We are still in the emergency phase," Trudeau said at a briefing Saturday. "The vast majority of Canadians continue to need to be very careful." Quebec is readying to open schools and businesses amid warnings from experts that reopening public spaces would lead to an increase in cases, deaths, and hospitalizations due to the novel coronavirus. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned that if provinces reopen too quickly, a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic could send the country "back into confinement this summer," Reuters reported. Trudeau said in a briefing on Saturday that despite promising indicators like a flattening rate of daily cases in many provinces, Canada is "not in the recovery phase yet" and any reopening should be gradual. "We are still in the emergency phase," Trudeau said, according to Reuters. "The vast majority of Canadians continue to need to be very careful." Trudeau's comments come as Quebec begins to reopen schools and businesses outside Montreal, despite the region counting nearly twice as many confirmed cases of the virus than any other province and nearly 60% of the country's total deaths, CTV News reported. "I understand how much people do want to go outside, but we need to do it in ways that we are sure are going to keep people safe because the last thing people want is a few weeks from now being told 'OK we loosened the rules and now COVID is spreading again and you're all going to have to go inside for the rest of the summer,'" Trudeau said, according to CTV. A new report noted by CTV via the Institut national de sante publique du Quebec said the Greater Montreal Area could see 150 daily deaths on average by the end of June if lockdown measures were lifted, in addition to 1,000 new cases of the virus a day and a rapid increase in hospitalizations. Canada is not alone in weighing the crushing economic impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic against the safety of reopening. The country saw a record-breaking loss of 2 million jobs in April as the number of cases spiked from more than 9,500 to 54,000. The rapid fallout was similar to that in the neighboring US, where unemployment claims rose to 26.4 million, or more than 15% of the country's workforce, from mid-March to late April. Protests and pushback among Americans and lawmakers have preceded 26 states beginning an early phase of a gradual reopening, despite not counting the federally recommended two weeks free of new cases. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious-disease expert, has been warning since early April that the novel coronavirus could likely become "seasonal" as he emphasized that the virus is "unlikely to be completely eradicated from the planet," and as lockdowns are relaxed, the US could expect a resurgence in the outbreak later this year.Join the conversation about this story »
More like this (3)
Politicians in Quebec and neighboring Ontario, Canada’s two most populous provinces, are blaming a rise in...Politicians in Quebec and neighboring Ontario, Canada’s two most populous provinces, are blaming a rise in cases on people dropping their guard.
Coronavirus live news: Spain records lowest death toll in two months; Obama attacks Trump's virus response
Russia sees 9,709 new confirmed cases in past 24 hours; China reports five new Covid-19 cases;...Russia sees 9,709 new confirmed cases in past 24 hours; China reports five new Covid-19 cases; boy in France dies of Kawasaki-like diseaseSpain reports fewer than 100 deaths for first time in two monthsUS and UK ‘lead push against global patent pool for Covid-19 drugs’Barack Obama attacks Trump handling of pandemicUK coronavirus – live updatesCoronavirus latest developments: at a glanceSee all our coronavirus coverage 1.26pm BST Less than a year after passing a secularism law forcing certain members of religious minorities to uncover their heads and faces, Quebec is now debating whether to force everybody to put masks on.As the province at the centre of Canada’s coronavirus outbreak, Quebec is currently “strongly recommending” that citizens wear masks – but the measure will not be mandatory.Bill 21 violates the rights of religious minorities without a real or urgent situation. And now that we’re in a real and urgent situation, the premier cares about violating people’s rights.For them, it was always OK to violate the rights of religious minorities. Related: Quebec ponders making masks mandatory after banning the veil 1.22pm BST The growth of new coronavirus cases in Russia is stabilising, a top health official has said, as the daily tally fell under 10,000 for the third time this week.The country has the world’s second highest number of infections at 281,752, topped only by the United States. We’ve moved towards the level of stability that we’ve all been waiting for.I would say that of today, we have halted the growth [in the number of cases]. Continue reading...
Unlike the rest of the world, Canada is seeing more COVID-19 deaths in women than in men. Here's why.
While the rest of the world is witnessing more men dying of COVID-19 than women, Canada...While the rest of the world is witnessing more men dying of COVID-19 than women, Canada is one of the only countries where that statistic has been reversed. The Canadian province of Quebec is seeing the biggest gender disparity in coronavirus cases, with women making up 59.4% of confirmed coronavirus cases and 54.6% of deaths. Experts believe that the data could be skewed towards females because the province has seen the majority of its outbreak occur in long-term care homes, where the population of females is a lot higher. Another factor is that healthcare workers in the province — of which 80% are female — have also been largely affected. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Early research into the novel coronavirus has shown an unusual pattern among COVID-19 patients: more men are dying than women. But Canada seems to be bucking the global trend, with the latest data showing that it is one of the few countries where women have higher death and infection rates than men. The virus has been particularly devastating for the eastern province of Quebec, which, to date, has more than 42,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and almost 3,500 deaths alone— the highest in the country, according to government statistics. Quebec also sees the greatest gender disparity in COVID-19 cases out of all the provinces. As of May 14, women made up 59.4% of confirmed coronavirus cases and 54.6% of deaths, the Montreal Gazette reported. But why? While research is still underway and the lack of community sampling doesn't show the full picture, some experts believe that there are several explanations as to why the province — and Canada as a whole — is seeing a gender difference of infection and death rates, compared with the rest of the world. Quebec has seen one of the worst outbreaks in its long-term care facilities A large part of Quebec's battle against the coronavirus has been fought in its long-term care facilities, Dr Donald Sheppard, a professor and Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology (MI4) at McGill University, told Business Insider. "One factor is that the outbreak in Quebec is a very different outbreak than what has been seen in other provinces. It's being driven not by community spread, but by a spread in long-term care facilities," Sheppard said. The virus was first brought into care homes by family members who had taken trips abroad during the province's early March break. A failure by authorities to respond quickly and effectively in the days and weeks that followed caused COVID-19 to spread rampantly in dozens of homes, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). The situation was worsened by massive staff-shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) as thousands of care home workers started getting infected with the virus. According to provincial data, 82% of Quebec's dead lived in long-term care homes. On top of that, women make up over 75% of residents aged 85 years and older in care homes, according to data cited in the Montreal Gazette. "What we're seeing here is that a lot of the numbers are being skewed by the fact that we assume that we're taking 50/50 men and women, exposing them to the virus, and what's coming out of the other end is the numbers that you're getting now," Sheppard said. "I actually think what we're doing is taking a population that is around 75% female, exposing them to the virus, and that female portion of that population is older than the male fraction so they're more at risk for bad outcomes and shockingly, this is what you're seeing." "And to make matters worse, the average age of the women in the long-term care facility is older than the average age of the male. And we know there is a direct correlation between age and severity of this illness and its mortality," Sheppard added. Philip Goulder, a pediatrician and research immunologist at the University of Oxford, agrees with Sheppard that when you look only at the population of older people in the country opposed to the total population, the numbers change. "People haven't taken into account when they look at the male and female statistics, the fact that it shouldn't be just 50/50. It should be 60/40, for example, because women live older than men," Goulder told Business Insider "Even in Canada, the number of males dying is still far more than you expect because you got fewer men who are over 70 than females," he added. The problem of outbreaks in long-term care facilities has been witnessed in other parts of Canada too. In April, Canada's chief public health officer Theresa Tam said that nearly half of the known coronavirus deaths in the country were linked to outbreaks in elderly care homes, according to the BBC. Healthcare workers in the province have also been affected badly Another explanation for the different gender disparity in Canada could be that the virus has affected frontline healthcare workers in the country. Women form 70% of workers in the health and social sector worldwide, according to a report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) In Quebec, this number is much higher, with an estimated to be 80% of the workforce comprised of women, according to the Fédération de la santé et des services sociaux (FSSS-CSN) — the largest union representing the province's healthcare workers. "So the healthcare worker population is estimated to be 80% women already, and if you think about what it is in long-term care, it's skewed even further —it's probably closer to 90% of healthcare workers in this setting are female," Sheppard said. According to the CBC, at least 4,000 healthcare workers have tested positive for COVID-19 in Quebec, making up the second-largest portion of infections outside nursing homes. "It's such a massive part of the outbreak. If you think about the fact that 20% of all the cases in the province are healthcare workers," said Sheppard. "We're seeing the dramatic difference between the community outbreak which is smaller, and then the hospital associate outbreak with healthcare workers and with patients in the outbreak," he added. Sheppard believes that is could be the combination of the virus breaking out in long-term care facilities and affecting predominantly healthcare workers in the province that are skewing the numbers that show more women are dying. "If we can split off just the community data in Quebec, people that are not healthcare workers and are not long-term care facility patients, I really think we would see that the balance would be the same as what we have seen in other countries," Dr Speppard said. "In the community, we might have a 50/50 mix, but in long-term care facilities and healthcare workers it's absolutely skewed towards females," he added. Most countries in the world are witnessing a different trend Meanwhile, researchers in other countries have been trying to understand why men seem to be dying at a higher rate than women. One of the first studies that looked into the gender differences in COVID-19 cases was conducted by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention at the beginning of the year. The study found that out of more than 44,000 patients, 2.8% of men diagnosed with the coronavirus ultimately died as of February 11. For women, the fatality was 1.7%. Researchers quickly realized that the trend wasn't exclusive to China and that countries, including Italy, Germany, and South Korea, also started reporting a higher death toll among male patients, according to academic research group Global Health 50/50. Several possible explanations behind this trend have since been discussed. One factor could be that men smoke cigarettes more than women do. Other researchers have pointed to behavioral factors as another possible explanation — surveys suggest US men are less likely to wash their hands. Another possibility could be that those with preexisting health conditions like high blood pressure or heart disease are more likely to die from the virus. In many countries, men usually have higher rates of these underlying health issues. Read more: A train station worker has died after a man who said he had the coronavirus spat at her Twice as many men in the UK are dying with coronavirus as women, and often at a younger age Men could be more vulnerable to the coronavirus because they have higher levels of an enzyme that helps it latch onto the lungs, study says How the Coronavirus pandemic spread across the UK Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Inside London during COVID-19 lockdown