Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media during a news conference about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Wednesday March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Prime Minister Trudeau taking cautious approach to economic recovery plans

Ontario and Quebec are both expected to unveil their initial plans this week

COVID-19 claimed another 115 lives in Canada Saturday as the number of confirmed and presumptive cases across the country rose by nearly a thousand to 45,354.

Despite the ongoing coronavirus carnage, provinces are moving ahead with plans to cautiously begin reopening their locked down economies.

Ontario and Quebec are both expected to unveil their initial plans this week.

However, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who talked to the premiers on Friday about their recovery strategies, stressed yesterday that none of them hinge on people being immune to catching COVID-19 twice.

He said it is too soon to talk about so called “immunity passports” for Canadians who’ve been infected with COVID-19, because the science is still unclear about whether those who have recovered from the virus are protected from catching it again.

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, said the federal government has set up an immunity task force that will investigate how people’s immune systems are responding to COVID-19.

But for now, Trudeau insisted the focus remains on preventing the spread of the virus through physical distancing and personal protective equipment.

In Toronto yesterday dozens of protesters rallied on the grounds of the Ontario Legislature, defying physical distancing rules and demanding an immediate end to the COVID-19 lockdown — some even calling the pandemic a hoax.

Premier Doug Ford was quick with a strong rebuke, calling the demonstrators a “reckless” and “selfish” bunch of “yahoos” who were breaking the law and putting others, including health-care workers, in jeopardy.

READ MORE: Trudeau says too early to discuss ‘immunity passports’ for people recovered from COVID

The Canadian Press


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