OTTAWA, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- Canada could see upward of 60,000 new cases of COVID-19 by the end of December if Canadians increase their contacts and gatherings, according to the COVID-19 modeling charts issued by the Public Health Agency of Canada on Friday.
The modeling shows the country's daily case counts are increasing significantly and rapid growth is occurring in several provinces because each new case in Canada is spreading the infection to more than one other person.
It demonstrates that even under current rates of contacts into December, Canada could record 20,000 cases a day.
In the short term, the total number of Canadian COVID-19 cases is expected to reach between 366,500 to 378,600, and between 11,870 to 12,120 deaths by Nov. 30. The total number stood at 317,171 Friday morning.
"The national epidemic curve shows that case counts have far surpassed peak levels seen during the first wave," Canadian Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam said at a press conference in Ottawa Friday morning.
"An average of about 4,800 cases are now being reported daily. Moreover, epidemic growth is continuing at rapid pace, and about 15 percent more daily cases are reported this week, compared to the last."
To drive that number under 10,000 cases a day by the end of the year, Canadians would need to limit their interactions to essential activities while maintaining physical distancing and adhering to other public health guidelines.
"We are not on a good trajectory," Tam said Friday. "I think across the board, across Canada, we have to say the time is now, with urgency, that we limit contacts. However that is being done at the local level, that is the underlying principle. Keep those contacts down by restrictions and of course each individual doing their work."
Tam also pointed out that increased cases strain on hospitals and healthcare systems, pushing some to capacity and leading to the postponement of other medical procedures in the country.
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