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Canada authorities had expected coronavirus spike, fret about young victims

An increase in coronavirus cases was expected as the Canadian economy reopens, a senior medical official said on Tuesday, while expressing concern about how many young people were contracting the virus. Deputy public health officer Howard Njoo told a briefing that the success of efforts to combat the outbreak was fragile and could be undermined by people becoming complacent.

Reuters | Updated: 21-07-2020 23:35 IST | Created: 21-07-2020 23:35 IST
Canada authorities had expected coronavirus spike, fret about young victims

An increase in coronavirus cases was expected as the Canadian economy reopens, a senior medical official said on Tuesday, while expressing concern about how many young people were contracting the virus.

Deputy public health officer Howard Njoo told a briefing that the success of efforts to combat the outbreak was fragile and could be undermined by people becoming complacent. The daily case count across Canada is now around 460 compared with 300 earlier in the month. Authorities in the 10 provinces are gradually lifting social and economic restrictions imposed in March, when the outbreak started.

"Provinces (are) ... trying to reopen at I think a very prudent pace, slowly opening up bars and restaurant. But everyone recognizes we would expect to get clusters of cases," Njoo said. Officials in a number of major cities attribute the spike in part to groups of young people gathering in bars and nightclubs and at parties.

Njoo said young adults now made up around 55% of new cases, compared with around a third in May. "That is concerning," he said, blaming fatigue after months of lockdown and a feeling among the young that they were invincible "and can get away with anything."


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