Manitoba doctors calling for lockdown as COVID-19 cases surge
St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg is pictured on October 29, 2020. (CTV News Photo Josh Crabb)
WINNIPEG -- A group of Manitoba doctors is calling on the province to impose a lockdown on the province again as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to spike.
The letter, obtained by CTV News Winnipeg on Friday, was signed by 12 Manitoba doctors, and is calling for another shutdown of the province, similar to what was done in the spring. The letter is addressed to Premier Brian Pallister and Health Minister Cameron Friesen.
“We agree with you that all Manitobans need to take the COVID-19 situation seriously and avoid engaging in activities that can only propagate spread of the virus,” the letter reads. “However, we’re well past the stage where even a robust community response will significantly slow the epidemic. Fortunately, your government has already shown us what needs to be done.”
The letter says the province is currently in the exponential phase of growth, and said Winnipeg is on a similar path as El Paso, Texas, where COVID-19 case counts have surged. On Oct. 28, El Paso had approximately 1,100 COVID-19 cases, 111 patients being mechanically ventilated, more than 220 people in ICU more than 900 being admitted to local hospitals.
“Once we reach 200-250 cases per day, we will overwhelm existing resources within a week or two,” the letter said.
When resources get overwhelmed, the doctors said the need for triage for all patients, not just COVID-19 patients, will begin.
The doctors are urging the province to implement a full shutdown of the province immediately, saying doing so two weeks from now will be too late.
“The catastrophic situation we’ve seen in other cities is not inevitable,” the letter reads. “We are confident that aggressive mitigation efforts, combined with a subsequent ramping up of virus testing, contact tracing and targeted public messaging can avert disaster if implemented immediately.”
The news comes as St. Boniface Hospital reported on Thursday evening it is now over capacity for critical care beds
The full letter can be viewed below.