Ottawa, June 30 (IANS) As far as the reopening of businesses was concerned, Canada has been better than the US at slowing the spread of COVID-19 through physical distancing and people increasingly wearing face masks in public, according to a health official.
“As the epidemic has slowed, the incident rate has steadily declined in all age groups,” Xinhua news agency quoted Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, as saying at a briefing here on Monday.
“The epidemiology indicates the transmission is largely under control.”
Canada has so far reported a total of 105,830 COVID-19 cases, with 8,628 deaths.
In contrast, 41,075 new cases were reported in the US on Monday, bringing its national total to 2,590,552, while the death toll stood at 126,140 after with 885 new fatalities wer reported on Monday.
The Canada-US border, closed to non-essential travel since March 21, is scheduled to reopen on July 21.
But at his regular COVID-related news conference on Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hinted that it could be halted.
“We will continue to assess the situation and work with the Americans on what steps need to be taken in the month of August,” he said.
“What the situation we’re seeing in the US and elsewhere highlights for us is that, even as our economy is reopening, we need to make sure we are continuing to remain vigilant individually and collectively,” he said.
However, with the return of in-store shopping and greater numbers of people gathering, the demographic picture of the pandemic in Canada has changed.
People 80 years of age and older remain the hardest-hit population, accounting for nearly 18,000 cases.
Yet the 80-plus crowd has experienced the steepest decline in transmission since late May, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada, which reported a relative increase in cases among people between the ages of 20 and 39, who “now account for a greater proportion of total cases in recent weeks”, said Tam.