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Canada To Gradually Ease COVID-19 Restrictions

Canada’s worst hit provinces, Ontario and Quebec, are planning on releasing their plans for re-opening businesses . Other provinces like Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island are also considering similar return-to -near-normalcy in some sectors. BC which has flattened the curve for weeks now is also expecting to reopen businesses by mid May.

TORONTO – Even as Canada recorded its 2,500th fatality due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the country could witness gradual easing of restrictions as some of its largest provinces now want more business to become operational as early as possible.

While the number of confirmed cases in Canada has crossed 45,000 and was at 46,848 on Sunday evening, the tally for the number of deaths have climbed to 2,560.

But those figures may be gradually peaking and two of the worst hit provinces, Ontario and Quebec, are now planning on releasing their plans for opening up more businesses. Other provinces like Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island are also considering similar return-to -near-normalcy in some sectors.

BC which has flattened the curve for weeks now is also expecting to reopen businesses by mid May.

In Ontario, the country’s most populous province, the rate of growth of cases has slowed over the last fortnight. As it reported 437 new cases and 24 deaths, those figures represented the lowest numbers since April 13. Nearly 60 per cent of these cases are in the Greater Toronto Area or GTA.

But any such measure will be taken in a graduated manner.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau discussed the matter with premiers of provinces this weekend and they “acknowledged the importance of restarting the economy through a gradual and phased approach, based on the advice of public health experts,” according to a statement from the PMO. It also said that they “agreed that protecting the health and safety of all Canadians should remain the top priority while restarting the Canadian economy.”

While talk has increased of resuming some economic activity which have been restricted during the crisis, the country is still grappling with measures required to make that effort viable without endangering the population. Among the measures announced is the setting up of a Covid-19 Immunity Task Force which will try and estimate “how widely the virus has spread in Canada and provide reliable estimates of potential immunity and vulnerabilities in Canadian populations.”

Part of the process could be influenced by the experience of states south of the border, in the United States. As Trudeau said recently during a media briefing, “”As provinces look at their own situation and how we can move forward on beginning to reopen our economy, I know their decisions and our decisions will be informed by what is working, and what is perhaps not working as well, elsewhere the world.”

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