Sinthia Hoque:- According to new modelling data, the highly contagious COVID-19 variants are expected to make up about 40% of all Ontario cases by the second week of March, which will likely result in daily infections and hospitalizations. In the worst-case scenario and predicted by the new projections which were released by health officials, Ontario may see up to about 4,000 new cases daily by the end of next month.
In a more likely scenario and within that time frame, Ontario may see up to about 2, 500 cases or in the best-case scenario, numbers could decrease to about 500 daily. The modelling presentation mentions, “There is a period of remaining risk before the pandemic likely recedes in the summer”, “The major challenge becomes how to protect the health system over the next few months and closely monitor the spread of all types of cases while accelerating vaccinations”. Officials say COVID-19 variants of concern made up about five percent of COVID-19 cases at the end of January however a month later that had jumped to about twenty percent.
Ontario had reported 462 confirmed cases of COVID-19 variants as of Thursday and the majority of these variant cases which were originally found in the UK, have been labelled as B.1.1.7. Thousands of positive samples were screened for the variants which resulted in a positivity rate of about 11.3%. Dr. Adalsteinn Brown, co-chair of the province’s COVID-19 science table, who spoke at a news conference on Thursday afternoon had mentioned, “Case numbers are down the extended stay-at-home order in the GTA has been a powerful protection against more rapid growth, but the worst dangers are immediately in front of us”, further stating, “Case rates are already rising in some of the public health units again and the new variants of the virus are another serious hazard ahead of us. In the United Kingdom, cases tripled in a month before a much more serious lockdown brought them back under control.
A big jump in mobility or a big increase in gatherings will create the same kind of dangers for us”, “Simply we need to watch our every step. There is no easy path through a minefield . Just care and caution with each step”. After the stay-at-home order had taken effect, Ontario has seen significant decrease in COVID-19 infections daily over the last few months and was reported that in January there were about 4,000 to 1, 800 a day and numbers continued to decrease in February. This had also resulted in lesser deaths and infections daily in long-term care and officials say, there have been 20 resident deaths in the last seven days and as well lesser hospitalizations and ICU admission to the feline in the numbers.
The stay-at-home order was extended to March 8th in Toronto, Peel Region and North Bay.
News source: CTV News