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Ontario dealing with COVID-19 first wave shortcomings, but will not surpass 6,000 cases a day: Ottawa epidemiologist

During the first wave, Dr. Deonandan says he was expecting the province to implement significant public health measures following the first wave, but that ultimately didn’t happen. 
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The Ontario government failed to take action following the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, and now the public is dealing with the fallout, one Ottawa epidemiologist says. 

However, Dr. Raywat Deonandan, associate professor in the faculty of health sciences at the University of Ottawa, says that despite the lack of action, he doesn’t anticipate the province will surpass 6,000 cases of the virus per day, despite what new modelling is predicting.

“I think people will get terrified and then voluntarily restrict their movements,” he said. “But we will probably get to 10,000 (total cases) — I can see that happening.”

During the first wave of COVID-19, Dr. Deonandan says he was expecting the province to implement significant public health measures after things calmed down, but that ultimately didn’t happen. 

He explains he had hoped that the government would have used a mitigation and suppression strategy.

“We locked down hard in the spring — we got numbers down very, very low and that bought us time during the summer to acquires and deploy significant public health assets like strategic testing and a whole lot of contact tracing — but we didn’t do that, and we’re paying the price now.”

But, the doctor speculates, if measures were implemented during the summer when cases were lower, a less strict response would be needed now. 

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