I am very fortunate to be living in British Columbia, Canada where the COVID rate has been slowed to a trickle. By the middle of June, the government is moving to a Level 3 that will permit the further loosening of restrictions that were imposed back in March.
The following table below shows how Canadian greater cities and provinces are dealing with COVID-19 (C19) compared to other areas of the world. As you can see, the Greater Vancouver city area is doing very, very well when compared to other cities and countries.
The chart indicates the regions that have the highest COVID 19 incidence rate in Canada and indicates the worst in various world locations to provide a realistic comparison to Vancouver and to all of BC for that matter. Not are all these cities and regions are the most populated or popular in their countries; however, they were hit the hardest by the COVID 19 outbreak. Mortality rate (MR) is one of the most important public health indexes because:
1. it is focusing on an important outcome: “mortality”;
2. The denominator, total regional population, is hypothetically a fixed number;
3. The numerator, COVID 19 death count, is one of the most accurately reported numbers in public health these days.
Therefore, the lower MR during an epidemic may show how efficient the BC government medical care office was at preventing and containing the disease. Using MR, even in the absence of mass testing and screening, the medical department was able to accurately evaluate the success of public health measures that were instituted.
At the same time that the MR in Vancouver, Toronto, and Daegu (S. Korea) are 33, 61, and 67 in 1 million respectively, London’s MR is 450 and New York’s MR reaches 1013 in 1 million.
British Columbia and Greater Vancouver health officials have shown great leadership so far in terms of containing the disease. It is also encouraging news that other statistics showing the number of hospital admissions and ICU bed occupancy are declining, indicating the course the BC and Greater Vancouver health officials decided on was the correct one.
However, as our health officials warn us: “We are not out of the woods yet!” The border between BC and Washington State (as well as Canada and the USA) is still closed for anything other than commercial traffic. Public service announcements still warn against becoming too complacent and shopping malls, gyms, movie theatres, and other such venues are still closed. Schools have reopened for June but with only small classes and strict guidelines on distancing. The federal government has banned cruise ships from Canadian waters until next year that, coupled with not yet determined guidelines on air travel and tourism traffic is going to cause long term pain for the BC tourism industry.
So, congratulations to the BC government for having the courage to do the right thing. All this accomplished without mass testing. However, we are keeping our fingers crossed the second wave due in the fall will be a non-event.
If you have any comments, disagreements, or additional information on this post, please contact me either through Pippies or through my website.
Image Post Credit: Adam Niescioruk, Unsplash.