If the fourth wave of COVID-19 combines with the resurgence of influenza, it could further strain the healthcare systemDr Theresa Tam, the country’s chief public health official, warned on Friday.
While providing an update on the pandemic, Dr. Tam urged Canadians to continue to adhere to the health rules. And that, even if it appears that the decline in the number of coronavirus infections wants to continue at the national level.
Public Health Canada said that over the past week, nearly 3,160 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded daily. This is a 15% decrease compared to the 3,745 cases recorded on average each day during the previous week.
Last week, the agency reported that the actual reproduction rate (Rt) of the coronavirus was below 1 for the first time since mid-July. As a result, the COVID-19 incidence curve has been on a downward trajectory.
However, Dr. Tam said thousands of Canadians are hospitalized for COVID-19 as flu season approaches.
Last year, the influenza virus was
Practically not availableShe explained, due to the strict health measures that have been put in place to confront the COVID-19 pandemic. These restrictions had the effect of limiting the spread of the influenza virus, and the population was unable to be immunized against the most common strains of influenza.
With the loosening of restrictions now prevailing and immunity declining, the flu virus could return to its strength, said Theresa Tam.
Even without COVID-19, flu season can be challenging and fill hospital emergencies beyond their capacity. So now is not the time to let the flu wreak havoc.
Getting a flu shot is more important than ever, she added.
On October 7, the National Immunization Advisory Committee (NACI) suggested that the flu vaccine could be given at any time, before or after the COVID-19 vaccine, or even at the same time. And there was no reason to postpone either, according to the NACI.