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Canada fared better than US in responding to COVID-19 pandemic

From shutting down parts of the economy to ramping up testing at critical junctures, Canada fared better than many of its allies in responding to the coronavirus pandemic, particularly the United States.
Canada fared better than US in responding to COVID-19 pandemic

From shutting down parts of the economy to ramping up testing at critical junctures, Canada fared better than many of its allies in responding to the coronavirus pandemic, particularly the United States.

While defending his government's budget deficit, caused by the response to the pandemic, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa, that considering the alternative, it has been worth it.

"We were able to control the virus better than many of our allies," he had told reporters earlier this month, reported the Washington Post. "Including, particularly, our neighbour."

As per the report, the two countries share similar connections to initial hot spots in China and Europe and confirmed their first cases within a week of each other in January. However, since then, the US has reported more than three times as many total infections per capita, and nearly twice as many deaths.

The reasons for the divergent outcomes include the fact that Canada has a natural advantage of geography with less than one-ninth the US population. Canadians aren't evenly distributed -- two-thirds of them live within 62 miles of the US border -- but no city here is as densely populated as, say, New York City, the Washington Post reported.

"We have that geographic distribution between major centres," Jason Kindrachuk, a virologist at the University of Mtoba was quoted as saying. "Undoubtedly, it has played a role."

Besides, Canada also performed better than its neighbour during critical moments such as ramping up testing more quickly in the initial stages of the pandemic.

Some provinces and territories could have locked down sooner, analysts say, but once measures were announced, they were strict, broadly uniform and widely followed, according to the report.

Analysts also point out the difference in political leadership with Canadian officials largely setting aside partisan grievances.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney sent excess personal protective gear to provinces in need, including Quebec, led by frequent sparring partner Premier Francois Legault.

In contrast, US President Donald Trump has at times seemed to condition federal aid on support for him, and governors have fought with each other and the federal government over critical supplies, reported Washington Post.

According to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University, the number of coronavirus cases in the US has risen to 3,495,536 while the death toll has risen to 137,358 deaths.

In Canada, 110,693 COVID-19 cases have been reported with 8,857 deaths.

( With inputs from ANI )

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