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What to do then?
When countries close, they should go all the way and try to eliminate the disease, argues business consultant Robert Greenhill, executive president of Montreal’s Global Canada organization, dedicated to Canada’s impact on international affairs.
Early November report, lead author Greenhill said that Canada must follow the example of the TANZANC jurisdictions (Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, Atlantic and Northern Canada), which have shown that democracies, not just authoritarian regimes like China, can reach zero COVID broadcasts. “TANZANC jurisdictions, a total population of 58 million, had 20 new COVID cases on October 30. Canada, a population of 38 million, had more than 3,000. ”
Canada may have inadvertently thrown away its chance of reaching zero this summer, when several provinces, including Alberta, came close to zero transmission after strict blocking policies were in place in March, April and May. “We threw away our chance without debating, and maybe even without realizing, the opportunity,” said Greenhill.
Alberta would have to take tough measures to reduce its cases from more than 1,500 a day to 100 or 200 a day and then it would have to decide what the next step would be. “Does it make sense for Albertians to go further to reach zero and really, in a way, regain control over their collective destiny by spring?” Greenhill asked.
A severe Australian-style blockade, which closed deals and confined people to their homes for three months in Melbourne, a population of 5 million, is probably not needed here, Greenhill said. In Alberta, he says that a series of “fire breaks” over three to four months, with closings of one or two weeks of non-essential business and perhaps a closing of schools for a week, may well be enough. The secret is not to stop too early, to keep this process going long enough to actually reduce transmission to zero.