April 17, 2020More than 2.1 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported across 185 countries, according to official and unofficial statistics compiled by researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

The ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic has led to over 144,000 deaths globally and disrupted the lives of tens of millions.

Just across Canada’s border, the US has surpassed Italy as the country with the highest number of coronavirus deaths with 32,917 recorded by Thursday night and nearly 668,000 cases.

In Canada, there are 30,809 confirmed and presumptive cases:

Dr. Theresa Tam, the chief public health officer of Canada, says models are now predicting between 1,200 and 1,620 deaths from COVID-19 by April 21.

Last week the projections expected between 500 and 700 deaths this week, and Canada today has confirmed 1,048 deaths.

Tam says the overall curve is “bending” when it comes to the number of new infections being confirmed in Canada but the death rate is higher than expected because such a high proportion of outbreaks are in long term care centres.

Tam says more than 90 per cent of the patients confirmed to have died from COVID-19 are over the age of 60, and half of them lived in long term care centres.

Ontario is reporting 514 new COVID-19 cases today, and 38 more deaths.

That brings the province to a total of 8,961 cases, including 423 deaths and nearly 4,200 cases that have been resolved.

The province completed 9,001 tests in the previous day, surpassing a target the health minister set last week after the premier expressed frustration that Ontario had been testing well below its capacity.

Nova Scotia is reporting 30 new cases of COVID-19 today for a total of 579 confirmed cases.

Health officials say that as of yesterday, there are seven licensed long-term care homes in Nova Scotia with cases of COVID-19, involving 42 residents and 23 staff.

While most cases in the province have been connected to travel or a known case, officials say there is now community spread.

To date, Nova Scotia has 18,453 negative test results and three deaths.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said it would be “absolutely disastrous” to reopen the economy too early and allow another explosion of cases that would undo all efforts to date.

Trudeau says reopening is also not possible until Canada has a plan for responding to cases that arise in second or third waves.

He says that response would include “massive” levels of testing, and rapid response plans to trace contacts and isolate patients immediately.