There is a critical need to ensure we control the pandemic so we do not go beyond the ICU capacity we have.
The number of COVID-19 cases in Manitoba is rising fast. Thursday October 29th I asked the Health Minister, in Question Period, for his projected needs for ICU capacity in the days ahead and his plans to meet the needs. He acknowledged this is a critical issue but sadly failed to provide any answers.
Increase in COVID-19 Cases - ICU Bed Capacity Inquiry
Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): Madam Speaker, intensive care units in Winnipeg are near capacity. We know peak use of ICUs occurs at seven to 12 days after individuals first develop symptoms.
In the last two weeks there's been a dramatic increase from 100 new COVID cases per day, seven to 12 days ago, to an average of 182 cases per day in the last three days.
With this 82 per cent increase in cases, we expect a surge in the need for ICU care in the next two weeks.
Can the minister tell us the projected need for ICU spaces two weeks from now, and can the minister tell us what he's doing to make sure the projected large increase in ICU capacity can be achieved?
Hon. Cameron Friesen (Minister of Health, Seniors and Active Living): We can absolutely provide the assurance to the member for River Heights that exactly the kind of analysis that he points to is the analysis that is currently underway by health officials, weighing our capacity to continue to do things like our surgeries and procedures catch-up while we do other things.
The good news about our system, of course, is that we have the availability to flex our capacity up if we need to pause other things, and that gives us additional capacity in the system.
I would also take note of the fact, though, that the Leader of the Opposition [Wab Kinew] has shown he can subtract but not add. The number of ICUs is actually up in Manitoba.