Chief Public Health Officer of Canada Dr. Theresa Tam speaks as Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Howard Njoo, left, Minister of Health Patty Hajdu and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland listen, during an update on coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the National Press Theatre in Ottawa, on Wednesday, March 4, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Federal doctor says COVID-19 battle will last ‘months, many months’ as cases soar

Dr. Howard Njoo says the fight is far from over

Canada’s deputy chief public health officer has delivered a sobering assessment of the country’s struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Howard Njoo says the fight is far from over, that it could include a second wave, and that we are certainly in it “for the long haul.”

“It’s definitely months. Many months,” Njoo estimated Friday as the number of novel coronavirus cases in Canada surged to 4,757, including 55 deaths.

Quebec’s COVID-19 caseload has soared to more than 2,000 — more than double Ontario’s 993 cases.

Meanwhile, members of the Canadian Armed Forces have been told by chief of the defence staff Gen. Jonathan Vance to stay healthy and be ready to respond immediately to the escalating crisis.

One possible glimmer of hope did emerge from B.C. Friday, where data indicates the province’s COVID experience will likely resemble South Korea’s rather than brutally hit Italy. B.C.’s health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, said she thinks the social distancing strategy is working and she urged residents to keep at it.

READ MORE: B.C. COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

COVID-19 in Canada
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