In the federal Cabinet Committee’s daily update today, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer says even with cases rising the health system in Canada is still coping. Dr. Theresa Tam said that even the hardest-hit cities in the country; Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal are still managing.  She explained the sharp increase in COVID-19 related deaths seen over the past few days is because the disease can take several weeks to progress.

When asked about the Ontario projections released earlier, Dr. Tam said these numbers are for planning purposes and will have to be adjusted as the spread of the virus progresses. She said, “We have to look at the evolution and growth rate as it is actually happening in Ontario as well as the projections.” Adding that other countries like Italy succeeded in controlling the first wave of the virus despite their stark numbers.

Dr. Tam also restated Public Health Canada’s position on masks saying we must conserve surgical masks for our frontline workers.  She says homemade masks, even when properly used, would only protect those around you in case you had COVID-19.

And with regards to U.S. President Donald Trump’s directive to 3M to stop supplying Canada and Latin America with N95 masks, Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister says the federal government is pulling out all stops.

Chrystia Freeland stressed that both countries know now more than ever the need for collaborating for their economic, security and health care needs. She highlighted that the flow of supplies goes both ways and in fact, by U.S. law Canada is part of the U.S. military and industrial complex.

She says all  Ministers are working tirelessly with their U.S. counterparts to make Canada’s stand very clear. Freeland reminded the public that in times of crisis, all relationships at every level can face challenges, and this is no exception. Nevertheless, she said the federal government is working closely with the US and praised 3M for their responsible and commendable public statement this morning.

**Written by Mo Fahim