Canada released a statement Tuesday on “a set of common principles” for restarting its economy.
It was a joint statement from the federal government and its 10 provincial premiers and laid out the conditions for kickstarting businesses and schools shuttered by the coronavirus pandemic.
But Prime Minister Justin Trudeau emphasized that the measures do not mean school bells will be ringing and retail cash registers going ka-ching anytime soon.
“Let me be clear: these are not the specific measures when you can go back to work or school, when you can see your neighbors or extended family or friends,” Trudeau said. “This framework will lay out the things that need to happen before taking any next steps.”
“Restarting our economy will be gradual and careful and will be guided by science.”
The statement laid out seven conditions that must be met.
One is that the spread of the coronavirus is reduced to a number that the healthcare system can handle, while another measure calls for the number of infected and non-infected patients to be at a level that hospitals can sustain.
As of April 28, there were 49,815 cases in Canada.
Another condition is that a system must be in place to conduct tests for the virus and those carrying the virus can go quickly into isolation.
About half of the 2,852 (as of April 28) victims of COVID-19 were living in nursing homes so protections must be established for those at high risk, such as those in long-term care homes, jails and homeless shelters.
Another measure is workplace monitoring to stop the spread of the virus.
There must also be a safe environment before non-essential travel is gradually introduced, such as the currently-restricted border between Canada and the United States.
Finally, future outbreaks must be able to be contained locally within environments such as schools and public transit.
The statement said that because the virus’s impact is different in each province, each may take “different steps at different times in order to ease restrictions reflecting the specific circumstances in each jurisdiction.”
Trudeau said Canada is winning the war on the virus, but slowly – cases were doubling every three days, but that has been reduced to doubling every 16 days.
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