Rise of COVID-19 "deeply concerning" to head of Canadian Medical Association

Apr 5 2022, 6:15 pm

The doctor in charge of the Canadian Medical Association says she’s extremely unsettled by provinces lifting public health measures at a time when COVID-19 cases are rapidly rising across Canada.

Dr. Katharine Smart, CMA president and a pediatrician in Whitehorse, issued a statement Tuesday saying governments must use tools available to them to keep citizens safe and prevent hospitals from becoming overloaded.

“In recent weeks, provinces and territories in Canada have dropped many if not most public health protections meant to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. As anticipated, we’re seeing COVID-19 indicators rising once again. This is deeply concerning,” she wrote.

She added Ontario and Quebec are seeing a sixth wave of the pandemic — indicating the virus is far from going away.

Dr. Katharine Smart covid concerning

Dr. Katharine Smart, president of the Canadian Medical Association. (CMA/Submitted)

“While we shouldn’t be gripped by fear, we must use the tools and knowledge we’ve gained from the past two years to guide us forward,” she wrote.

She called on governments to bolster COVID-19-monitoring measures, but some provinces are doing the opposite.

BC, for instance, scrapped its reporting tool for COVID-19 cases discovered at home by rapid test on April 1. The province also limits who can access a PCR test, meaning case numbers announced in government reports don’t reflect the reality of who’s sick in BC.

On an individual level, Dr. Smart encouraged everyone to take as many vaccine doses as they’re eligible for and urged people to continue wearing masks in indoor public spaces — including classrooms.

“We must continue to monitor and respond appropriately to the COVID-19 pandemic to protect ourselves, our communities and the health system.”

Megan DevlinMegan Devlin

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