|Canada marked another grim milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic on Tuesday, when the death toll reached 10,000 people. That number may be inaccurate, though, and the true number could be higher. Statistics Canada has said the number of deaths from COVID-19 in the early months of the pandemic might have been under-reported because some patients might have died before getting tested for the coronavirus.
The numbers vary greatly between regions. Most of the deaths — more than 90 per cent — have been reported in Quebec (6,172 deaths) and Ontario (3,103). Those provinces also account for 80 per cent of Canada’s overall cases. More than 70 per cent of Canada’s deaths have occurred in those aged over 80 — about twice the average of rates in other developed countries. Both Ontario and Quebec experienced severe COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care homes that drove those numbers up. There are currently more than 320 outbreaks in such homes across Canada.
The pandemic has grown deadlier over the past month. More than 600 COVID-19-related fatalities have been reported in October so far compared with 165 COVID-19 in September, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. Equally troubling, the number of people experiencing severe COVID-19 illness continues to increase. Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, warned in a statement Monday that “as hospitalisations and deaths tend to lag behind increased disease activity by one to several weeks, the concern is that we have yet to see the extent of severe impacts associated with the ongoing increase in COVID-19 disease activity.”