Doug Ford says we're not far off from Spain and Italy and a COVID-19 surge is coming
Ontario Premier Doug Ford painted a grim picture of the COVID-19 situation in the province today, saying there's little separating us from what's happening in Spain and Italy and that there are "dark days ahead."
Speaking at his daily Queen's Park press conference Wednesday morning, Ford warned that there's bound to be a major surge in COVID-19 cases in Ontario.
"We know a surge is coming," Ford said somberly.
"The hard truth is, right now, today, there is very little separating what we will face here in Ontario from the devastation we’ve seen in Italy and Spain," he continued.
"Thousands of lives are at stake. The actions we take today, what we do as a government and as a people, will determine what we face tomorrow."
And Ford wasn't the only one to make a bleak statement on the status of the pandemic in Ontario today.
Grim msgs today from all levels:— Jennifer Yang (@jyangstar) April 1, 2020
Theresa Tam: worried health care system won't be able to cope
Doug Ford: 'very little separating us' from Italy/Spain situation. 'We know a surge is coming'
Eileen de Villa: trajectory is bad & 'I am deeply concerned' https://t.co/loiA70EgNr
Speaking at a press conference in Toronto Wednesday morning, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa said cases of COVID-19 in Toronto have risen by more than 500 per cent in the past two weeks.
"This is not a favourable trajectory," she added.
Dr. de Villa announced several new stricter social distancing measures during the morning press conference, while Ford announced that the province is set to receive 10,000 new ventilators, 600,000 pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) and that they're starting a $50 million fund to help businesses retool their operations to produce medical supplies.
Still, many are wondering why government officials aren't introducing stricter isolation measures considering the severity of the situation.
@fordnation I'm sorry Doug, but you can't just hint that we are going to be the next Italy or Spain and it announce new actions to stop it. More PPE is great, but stricter lockdown measures are clearly needed. You can't just trust people to self isolate. You need to make them.— #RIPHenriRichard (@TORHABSFAN) April 1, 2020
Ford has previously said he would not hesitate to "pull the trigger" and issue a mandatory province-wide stay at home order if residents didn't start listening to social distancing orders, and many are wondering why that hasn't happened yet.
The province of Ontario has based its advice and recommendations thus far on provincial modelling, which is said to have projected an imminently "critical"situation in terms of the number of patients that will end up hospitalized and in ICU.
But that information is not currently available to the public, as officials have said some of the more extreme outcome predictions from the models could evoke panic.
As of Wednesday morning, Ontario confirmed a total of 2,392 cases of COVID-19 in the province — up 426 from yesterday.
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