Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he would honor provincial requests to send in the military and shore up seniors’ residences in a state of crisis.
Echoing the frustration of millions of Canadians, he acknowledged they needed to pull together and “do better” to support seniors.
“This is not a long-term solution. In Canada we shouldn’t have soldiers taking care of seniors,” Trudeau said during his daily news conference in Ottawa on Thursday.
Nearly half of those that have died in Canada from Covid-19 are linked to residents in long-term care centers throughout the country. In Ontario, where there are well over 100 senior residences with outbreaks, more than 70% of those who have died of the virus are residents of care centers.
Trudeau also announced hundreds of millions more dollars for vaccine research and clinical trials for possible treatments, and testing.
“Testing is key. We’ve now reached 20,000 tests daily, almost double where we were earlier this month. But testing must increase even further before we can reopen and restart our normal activities as a country,” Trudeau said.
Trudeau said that although Canada’s efforts at social distancing were working, the research funds will ensure that the progress wouldn’t be wasted. Until there is a vaccine, Trudeau said his government would focus on clinical trials for treatments and immunology testing.