COVID-19 modelling: Omicron has ‘eclipsed’ past waves


The Omicron variant has “eclipsed” all previous COVID-19 waves in Canada and new modelling forecasts a “large surge” of additional cases this month, before declining in February.

“While Canada could see a sharp peak and decline in cases in the coming weeks, given disease activity far exceeding previous peaks, even the downside of this curve will be considerable,” reads the modelling materials provided by the Public Health Agency of Canada on Friday.

The modelling also shows that severe illnesses are trending up given the current widespread national rates of transmission and the anticipated continued rapid acceleration of new infections in the weeks ahead, even under the current level of public health measures and societal restrictions.

As a result of the record-breaking number of infections, new daily hospital admissions are also forecast to break records too. However, federal officials are cautioning that they still do not have the full picture of Omicron’s rate of hospitalization compared to past strains of COVID-19.

On average, in the last seven days, 6,779 patients were in hospital with COVID-19, 883 were in the ICU, and there have been 82 deaths.

The highest incidence of reported cases is among adults between the ages of 20 and 39, with hospitalizations increasing at the highest rates among seniors over the age of 80.

Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam says that Canada should be bracing for up to 3,562,450 cases and up to 32,600 cumulative deaths by the last week of January, though those figures are to some degree uncertain due to reduced access to testing and reporting of COVID-19 infections.

She is cautioning that Canadians need to do all they can to limit their contacts in an effort to curb the further rapid transmission of Omicron. 

As of the last federal modelling update in December, the Delta variant was the dominant strain, however in the weeks following, Omicron has overtaken as the predominant variant in this country, and has exceeded past projections.

The highly transmissible variant has lead to record-setting levels of new infections across the country, seeing more active cases than at any other point in the last two years of this pandemic and leading to ongoing concerns about overwhelming hospital capacity.

Many regions have reverted to virtual schooling for students and have shuttered or greatly reduced capacity at businesses like gyms, theatres, and restaurants as was the case in earlier waves of the pandemic.

While federal officials have sought to encourage Canadians public frustrated, tired and angered by the COVID-19 crisis, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has warned they will likely have to “hunker down” this winter before seeing “a better spring.”

Federal modelling update, Jan. 14

Source link


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here