Leyland Cecco reports for the Guardian from Toronto, Canada:
Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau warned that it could take “weeks or months” for the aggressive measures taken across the country, including the mass closure of businesses, to fully take effect in the fight against the coronavirus. But Trudeau also praised the “unique and difficult measures” taken by residents as the number of cases continues to grow.
Speaking outside of his house for the fourth day in a row as he remains in self isolation, Justin Trudeau acknowledged there was no clear timeline for when social distancing measures might be eased, saying his government was relying on expert advice. Across Canada, schools, restaurants and community centres have all closed to slow the spread of Covid-19.
While he reiterated calls for social distancing, he also called on residents to help out where possible, including donating blood. His request led to so many visitors to the Canadian Blood Service website that the site crashed temporarily.
Canada has dramatically ramped up its testing capabilities in recent day, said Trudeau announcing 50,0000 tests to date, including 25,000 in the last week.
There are currently 770 confirmed and presumptive cases in the country.
Trudeau also announced the anticipated closure of the US-Canada border to all non-essential travel would come Friday night.
A number of provinces have declared states of emergencies in recent days, but the prime minister continued to resist calls for the implementation of emergency measures, calling the legislation “extreme”, but also leaving open the option to use military procurement as a way of obtaining more ventilators— similar to discussions in the United States.
“We are considering using any measures necessary that could assist our health care system,” he said.