COVID-19 Globally and in Canada

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) assessed COVID-19 as a pandemic. This means it is infecting people around the world in a way that is difficult to control

Timeline of COVID-19

How did this virus evolve into a global pandemic? This timeline gives us a better understanding of how rapidly this virus spread and how quickly the number of cases in China peaked. 

  • Dec 31, 2019: China’s central Hubei province confirmed dozens of cases of pneumonia from an unknown cause
  • Jan 7, 2020: The outbreak was identified as a new coronavirus
  • Jan 20, 2020: The World Health Organization (WHO) reports the first cases outside China
  • Jan 23, 2020: China placed Wuhan under quarantine orders
  • Jan 25, 2020: Canada confirms its first case of COVID-19
  • Feb 11, 2020: The new coronavirus is officially named COVID-19
  • March 11, 2020: WHO declares a global outbreak
  • March 19, 2020: China reports no new domestic coronavirus cases for the first time since the outbreak began

Watch the 30-second video below to see the timeline of COVID-19 from December 31, 2019 to March 19, 2020.

COVID-19 Globally

As of April 16, 2020, over 2 million people globally have tested positive for COVID-19. Many more have been exposed to the virus but have not been tested. Over 500,000 have recovered and 140,000 have died.

The virus has been reported in over 185 countries.  There are delays in the outcomes we see because of the timeline between people being infected and the events that occur afterwards. Therefore, we may see some more positive outcomes over time.  

Watch the 2-minute video below to see the spread of COVID-19 across the world (as of April 16, 2020) including trustworthy resources to track cases of COVID-19.

COVID-19 in Canada

As of April 16, 2020 there are 28,893 Canadians who have tested positive for COVID-19. Over 9,000 have recovered. Unfortunately, over 1,000 have died.  The province of Quebec has been hit the hardest. There is evidence that the acceleration of the number of cases in Canada is slowing down

Watch the 2-minute video below to see the spread of COVID-19 across Canada (as of April 16, 2020) including trustworthy resources to track cases of COVID-19.

Cases of COVID-19 in People with IBD

A registry (SECURE-IBD) has been created to track the number of patients with inflammatory bowel disease who have been affected by COVID-19. An international group of physicians and scientists are using this data to understand how COVID-19 impacts people with IBD. If you are a healthcare provider involved in the diagnosis of COVID-19 for people affected by IBD, please visit our For Professionals page

People at higher risk also include:
  • Older adults
  • People with underlying medical conditions
  • Having a compromised immune systems (medical condition or treatment)
  • To find out your level of risk and what you should do, visit our Are you at Risk? page

Watch the 2-minute video below to learn from expert gastroenterologists about known cases of COVID-19 in people living with Crohn's and colitis.

Predicting covid-19 outcomes to Prepare for the Future

When you look at models predicting the impact of COVID-19, they may require a level of skepticism regarding their accuracy, but they can be helpful to plan for different outcomes (such as number of Intensive Care Unit beds needed). It is really challenging to project well into the future what the outcomes are going to be. Short-term predictions are typically more accurate.

Many provinces in Canada have been using either mathematical or comparator models (comparing Canada to other countries), which is why there are a variety of types of models available.

Watch the 4-minute video below to learn how experts develop projection models to predict the impact of COVID-19 in regions across Canada and globally. 

The COVID-19 models show us that the Canadian response to the pandemic has saved a lot of lives and has been really good when compared to other countries affected by COVID-19.

In Canada, the curve has bent towards a flatter line. The growth of cases in Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia and Quebec, where most of the cases are, has slowed. To explore more on how Canada is doing in comparison to other countries and the growth rate of COVID-19 cases, click here.

Watch the 5-minute video below for projections of COVID-19 throughout Canada in the next several months, and how health care systems use this information to make decisions and be prepared.

Dr Benchimol and Dr Kaplan photos

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  • Canada has among the highest incidence rates of Crohn's and colitis in the world.
  • 1 in 140 Canadians lives with Crohn’s or colitis.
  • Families new to Canada are developing these diseases for the first time.
  • Incidence of Crohn’s in Canadian kids under 10 has doubled since 1995.
  • People are most commonly diagnosed before age 30.