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Premier Pallister is wrong when he says no one could have predicted the speed and severity of the second wave

Premier Brian Pallister is just wrong in saying yesterday that "Nobody could have predicted the degree to which COVID came fast."  He was referring to the speed and severity of the COVID-19 virus spreading this fall in Manitoba.  

Contrary to what the Premier says, many people were predicting the Second Wave of the pandemic  would  be worse than the first.  Historically this has often happened with pandemics in the past.  In Manitoba in 2009 the H1N1 pandemic was worse in the second wave than during the first wave. 

The speed of the pandemic was not a surprise.  COVID-19 infections are well known to rise exponentially when adequate containment measures are not in place.   In jurisdictions like Italy and New York as well as elsewhere we had examples of sudden explosions of cases when the spread of the virus was increasing exponentially.  There was already evidence to suggest that the virus would be worse in winter months, and that spread would be faster as people moved indoors, particularly to low humidity indoor environments.  To say that no one was predicting COVID would come to Manitoba and would spread quickly is wrong. 

Furthermore, the experience from elsewhere showed that personal care homes were likely to experience major outbreaks if measures were not taken to prevent these.   On May 22, Manitoba Liberals specifically called for vigorous efforts to protect personal care homes from experiencing outbreaks in the Second Wave in the fall.  Our press release below specifically emphasizes various measures to protect personal care homes including increasing staffing levels, ensuring containment measures are in place and putting in place a well-trained rapid response team. In June and July when these measures should have been put in place, Pallister failed to act.  The result - major outbreaks in personal care homes - was sadly predictable.

Manitoba Liberal Press Release May 22, 2020. 

Ready for the Second Wave? Get Rapid Response Medical Team Ready Now

WINNIPEG - Manitoba Liberals say the Pallister government needs to start preparing a Rapid Response medical team that could be deployed to personal care homes or other hotspots before the expected second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

While the PCs have released a vague “Phase II” plan for reopening the economy, the government should be preparing now to ensure that Personal Care Homes remain infection free until a vaccine is developed.

That’s why Liberals say a rapid response team with the capacity to staff three personal care homes at once should de developed now. 
“Manitobans have done a great job of working to keep COVID numbers down, and we should be using this time to make sure that personal care homes stay COVID-19-free for good,” said Jon Gerrard, MLA for River Heights and Manitoba Liberal Health Critic. “The time to start preparing a medical rapid response team is now.” 

Manitoba Liberals first called on the PC government to release a COVID-19 plan on March 2, including detailed measures to protect personal care homes. 

Personal care homes have seen a terrible death toll during the pandemic across Canada and around the world. One major reason is that when COVID-19 strikes a personal care home, staffing can be drastically reduced because workers have to self-isolate. That was the reason the Canadian military had to be called in when outbreaks occurred at homes in Ontario and Quebec. 

Manitoba Liberals say the PCs should take long-overdue measures to improve services at personal care homes, including a COVID-19 risk benefit for staff, increasing staffing levels, and ensure that containment measures are in place.

“When Manitoba Liberals called on the PCs to bring back 90-day prescriptions, they realized they made a mistake and changed it,” said Cindy Lamoureux, MLA for Tyndall Park and Manitoba Liberal Seniors' Critic. “So long as there is a risk of coronavirus, we need to do everything we can to keep every senior and health care worker safe and healthy.”

Comments

  1. Here is a quote of Pallister’s from October 15, 2020 ...

    “We all have a role to play in protecting our most vulnerable people”

    Yes we all do, but the one person in this province with the BIGGEST role “in protecting our most vulnerable people” is you, Brian Pallister.

    You have failed in your role in protecting our Seniors in Care Homes across this province.

    And it’s our “precious, precious seniors” who are paying the ultimate price — They have paid with their very LIVES ... and continue to EVERYDAY in Care Homes across this province.



    ReplyDelete

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