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Nr. 00265- 9th Jan. 2024 – Weekly Newspaper devoted to Science & Technology in Africa ** Pour la promotion de l'esprit scientifique en Afrique

COVID 19 – How could we deconfine while avoiding new peaks of contamination – Lesson learned from Canadian experience

Résultats de recherche d'images pour « coronavirus image »The Corona virus pandemic (COVID 19) is ravaging Canada and everywhere in the world. I use this opportunity to express that as a first-generation immigrant, there have been times in the past when I had doubts about Canada with issues of racial and professional discrimination. However, the management of this health crisis comforts me and strengthens my feeling of pride in belonging to this nation where the life of the human being is at the center of government concern. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the chief executives of the Provinces and Territoriescommunicate and answer difficult questions from journalists daily, as well as contradictory questions from Members of Parliament and announce new measures almost every day.This calls us to do more so that togetherwe can find adequate solutions against this unprecedented crisis in our contemporary history.

This crisis surprised us all, of course. However, the government’s response program has put Canada at a much better level of resilience than most comparable countries. Still, I should note that we could have reduced the scale of the disaster if:

1- WHO played well its role by informing the entire world and in particular Canada about the potential danger of this crisis, by asking the governments of the member states to take serious measures to avoid any risk of spread of this virus,

2- Confinement measureswere put in place in February when the situation had become alarming with numerous cases of contamination outside the starting point of the virus from China, especially in Europe

3. People returning from travel from this period had been quarantined to avoid community contagions

4- Distancing measures had been taken in essential service locations (e.g. bank, store, etc.) as soon as the country was announced to be in confinement in mid-March. In fact, the numerous community cases that we are recording today are also because Canadians at the announcement of the measures rushed to these places to get supplies.That involved staying for hours waiting to be served which constituted a great hotspot of contamination which the country is still suffering from.

The many measures taken certainly allow the country to remain at a much better level of resilience than other countries. However, recent figures show that we will have to continue to be careful especially about deconfinement. In fact, poor management of deconfinement risks to bring us back to the starting point, which would be even more damaging for our economy which is already taking many hits. We support that deconfinement must be done with caution, with sanitary measures that must be taken to avoid any risk of new peaks of contamination. We analyzed the Wikipedia data from April 29, 2020, distributed by provinces to make our proposal:

Table: Status of COVID 19 in Canada as of May10, 2020

Rank Location Confirmed Recovered Deaths Recovered rate (/1000) Death rate (/1000)
Canada 67,702 31,249 4,693 462 69
1 Prince Edward Island 27 27 0 1000 0
2 Yukon 11 11 0 1000 0
3 Northwest Territories 5 5 0 1000 0
4 New Brunswick 120 118 0 983 0
5 Newfoundland and Labrador 261 244 3 935 11
6 Manitoba 284 247 7 870 25
7 Nova Scotia 1,011 743 47 735 46
8 Ontario 19,944 14,383 1,599 721 80
9 British Columbia 2,330 1,659 129 712 55
10 Alberta 6,157 4,204 116 683 19
11 Saskatchewan 553 340 6 615 11
12 Quebec 36,986 9,268 2,786 251 75
Nunavut 0 0 0 0 0

Our proposals are as follows:

1- Provinces and territories with a recovery rate of 800 or more must begin general deconfinement

2-The three provinces (Ontario, Nova Scotia and British Columbia) with a recovery rate greater than 700 and less than 800 must continue recovery efforts to reach a recovery rate greater than 800 and plan a gradual deconfinement taking into account the main sources of contamination and impact levels in the various cities or areas of the province.

3-The provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan must continue efforts to reach a recovery rate at least greater than 800 to begin a progressive deconfinement.

4. The province of Quebec may require federal support to increase their recovery rate while expanding community tests to find themselves at a much more reasonable level. Although the provincial authorities are determined to start a deconfinement now, according to our analysis, it would be irresponsible to start a general deconfinement at this time in this province.

During deconfinement, we suggest associating with the distancing measures wearing of mandatory mask for at least 60 days in areas where contamination has been high. It will also be necessary to ensure monitoring from geographic information systems and if possible GPS which could facilitate the tracking of new reported cases to avoid new peaks during deconfinement, which could jeopardize all the efforts already made to get rid of this sad pandemic.

Adrien Djomo, PhD
Queen’s University
Coordonnateur Général

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