The novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19, has now killed more Canadians than SARS.

As of Friday afternoon, federal and provincial health authorities were reporting more than 4,500 Canadian cases of COVID-19, with 53 deaths.

Back in 2003, the SARS outbreak, which also triggered cancellations and emergency declarations, killed 44 Canadians.

Only laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 are included in the 4,500 case total. There are thousands of other cases awaiting test results – more than 10,000 in Ontario alone, suggesting that the scope of the problem is even wider than the reported case total.

On Tuesday, the City of Ottawa’s chief medical officer, Dr. Vera Etches, said that some mathematical models estimated that the city could see around 4,000 new cases per day at the peak of the outbreak, which is likely still to come.

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There were more than 575,000 cases of COVID-19 worldwide as of Friday afternoon, according to statistics compiled by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, and more than 26,000 deaths.

2:11Coronavirus outbreak: Tips to stop the spread of COVID-19 in your house from Dr. Hinshaw


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Health officials caution against all international travel.