Canada reached a somber milepost Wednesday as deaths from the coronavirus surged past 3,000.
Officials reported COVID-19 had claimed 3,054 victims, with the number of cases standing at 51,230, while 20,100 have recovered.
The news came hours after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada was winning the battle against the virus, but social distancing, staying home and other measures must continue.
“We are seeing some progress because people from coast-to-coast-to-coast are making sacrifices and following public health rules,” he said. “We have to keep it up.
“Let’s stay home, wash our hands and when we go out let’s stay two metres away from others,” he added,
The death toll topped 3,000 one day after Trudeau and the 10 provincial premiers announced a seven-point plan that would have to be met before reopening schools and businesses. Included is a slowing in caseloads so hospitals do not become overtaxed.
The Canadian economy is staggering from business shutdowns, including bars, restaurants and retail clothing outlets, as well as personal care operations like hair salons.
It was reported Wednesday by Statistics Canada that more than half of the country’s companies have lost at least 20% of revenue due to the pandemic. A survey between April 3-24 of 12,600 companies found one-third have suffered a 40% drop in revenue.
The situation is dire enough that the premier of Canada’s most populated province urged residents in adjacent provinces Wednesday not to cross into Ontario.
“We don’t want people now coming across the border,” said Premier Doug Ford. “I love Quebecers, I love people from Manitoba, but stay at home. When this is over we will welcome you with open arms.”
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