Canada’s coronavirus death toll surpasses 4,000

Coronavirus outbreak: Dr. Tam points to important drop in percentage of positive tests of COVID-19 in Canada
Coronavirus outbreak: Dr. Tam points to important drop in percentage of positive tests of COVID-19 in Canada

Canada has now reported over 4,000 deaths linked to the novel coronavirus, including 1,274 new cases.

The numbers, which are tallied by Global News from federal and provincial health authorities, bring the country’s total confirmed cases to 62,035.

READ MORE: Flattening the coronavirus curve — How Canada compares with other countries

As of May 5, a total of 4,043 people have died from COVID-19 in Canada after 189 deaths were reported on Tuesday.

The grim milestone comes amid additional cases and deaths from the country’s hardest-hit provinces.

Ontario and Quebec respectively reported 387 and 794 new infections of the virus.

Quebec, the epicentre of Canada’s outbreak, announced 118 more deaths on Tuesday alone, bringing its provincial death toll to 2,398.

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Premier François Legault said that more measures aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 were also being slowly rolled back across the province as well, including a scale-back of rules in seniors and private residences.

Outbreaks in both seniors’ and long-term care homes have left a trail of devastation across the country, making up the brunt of Canada’s toll from the virus.

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COVID-19 data released last week by the Public Health Agency of Canada found that those homes account for more than 79 per cent of the country’s total deaths.

As of Tuesday,1,003 of Ontario’s 1,361 deaths have also been attributed to outbreaks in the province’s long-term care homes, according to the Ministry of Long-Term Care.

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Ontario’s report of a 2.2. per cent increase in total cumulative cases did indicate a low growth rate, however, aligning with the province’s downward trend in infections.

New cases were also announced in several other provinces Tuesday, with Alberta and Saskatchewan reporting 57 and 20 new cases, respectively.

British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia all reported just single digit increases to their total case counts as well.

READ MORE: How many Canadians have the new coronavirus? Total number of confirmed cases by region

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam said that the slow decrease in daily cumulative cases was an encouraging sign.

“Overall, we are seeing a continual slowing down of the epidemic itself,” said Tam during a press conference in Ottawa earlier Tuesday.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also announced new supports for Canada’s agri-food sector in the form of $252 million in funding.

Experts answer your coronavirus questions, part 11
Experts answer your coronavirus questions, part 11

According to Trudeau, the money will be used to help prepare of spring planting and supporting Canada’s heavily reduced meat-processing industry.

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The money, however, is just a drop in the bucket in comparison to the $2.6 billion in funding the Canadian Federation of Agriculature (CFA) asked from the federal government last week.

“The government themselves asked us to quantify our ask, and this falls short of what we identified as financial damages we’re already facing,” said Chris van den Heuvel, second vice-president at the CFA.

Trudeau did, however, leave the door open to additional emergency funding to the sector, adding that Tuesday’s aid was just an “initial investment,” and “if we need to add more, we will.”

— With files from The Canadian Press and Global News’ Kalina Laframbroise and Rachael D’Amore.