Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during his daily press conference on the COVID-19 pandemic outside of his residence at Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, on Sunday, April 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Normal life won’t fully return until COVID-19 vaccine developed, Trudeau says

Physical distancing could continue for months

Normal life won’t return to Canada until a vaccine is developed, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in his daily update from Ottawa Thursday (April 9).

Trudeau said a vaccine would take time to develop and physical distancing will continue for “months” in order to keep infections and deaths down during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier Thursday morning, federal health officials released COVID-19 scenarios that showed Canada could keep deaths under 22,000 with strong containment measures.

A vaccine, Trudeau noted, might not come for between a year and 18 months – the same amount of time until things return to normal.

“We need to continue to listen to experts on next things we can do… to have the minimal impact on Canadians,” he said.

At a later press conference, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said the government “just can’t say” when the border would reopen. It was was shut to most international travel on March 16 and to non-essential travel to the U.S. on March 21.

Freeland said “it would be foolhardy in the extreme” to make any predictions.

Speaking on the country’s financial situation, the prime minister said he hopes to return to the economy to a “certain sense” of normalcy in the coming months.

“Our country will come roaring back,” he said.”

Trudeau spoke on the same day that unemployment data was released for March, showing that more than one million people lost their jobs and the unemployment rate jumped to 7.8% – a figure not seen since October 2010.

He said 4.6 million claims have been processed through the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. Treasury Board president Jean-Yves Duclos said five million claims total had been submitted for EI or CERB since March 15.

Chief medical officer Dr. Theresa Tam asked Canadians to treat the upcoming long weekend as a “staycation for the nation,” and stick to celebrating virtually with those outside their household.

More to come.

READ MORE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

READ MORE: Controls can keep Canadian COVID-19 deaths under 22,000, health agency says

READ MORE: Canada lost 1,011,000 jobs in March, unemployment rate up to 7.8%


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusJustin Trudeau

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Month-long water quality advisory still in effect for Rupert residents

The City of Prince Rupert recommends those with weakened immune systems boil water prior to use

Jennifer Rice North Coast MLA seeks re-election

Northwest politicians announce intent on elections

Heart of the City – Jason Scherr

Try and Try again - Prince Rupert Seamen Rugby Club

No COVID-19 public exposures in the North Health Region at this time

Northern Health Authority issued a statement on Sept. 17

Tax penalties of 10 per cent to be applied by City if not paid on time

Prince Rupert Property taxes for certain non-residential properties are due by Sept. 30

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Application deadline for fish harvester benefits program extended

Those financially impacted by the pandemic have until Oct. 5 to apply

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

Most Read