By Barry Ellsworth
TRENTON, Canada (AA) - Canada’s coronavirus death toll stood at 10,052 Wednesday but health officials said the number might be higher because fatalities could have been under-reported in the early days of the pandemic.
The majority of deaths were in the most populated provinces: Quebec with 6,172 and Ontario reported 3,103. The two provinces also have experienced 80% of cases.
That number stood at 225,703, as reported by US-based Johns Hopkins University, which keeps a running total of global cases and deaths.
Breaking the statistics down further, the death toll for those aged 80 and older accounted for 70% of victims as the virus raged Quebec and Ontario long-term nursing homes.
It is about double the rate recorded in developed countries.
The virus is still threatening residents in nursing homes, with 320 outbreaks in facilities.
As was the case in European countries, stringent measures to control the spread of the virus succeeded in reducing the number infected during the summer.
But cases in October flared again and became widespread with death rates reaching new daily highs in Ontario, Quebec and western provinces.
There was an ominous warning from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who said the pandemic “sucks” and Canadians face a “tough winter ahead.”
“It’s frustrating to have to explain to your kids in many parts of the country, like here in Ottawa, that we’re not going to be trick-or-treating this [Halloween] weekend,” he said at a news conference Tuesday. “And it is frustrating knowing that unless we’re really, really careful, there may not be the kinds of family gatherings we want to have at Christmas.”
But not all Canadians are taking the warning seriously.
Last weekend, police in Quebec were alerted to a student party at an Airbnb and slapped 83 people, each with fines of CAN$1,000 ($751).