Manitoba health officials to give COVID-19 update

Manitoba health officials will give an update on efforts against COVID-19 Wednesday.

Deputy chief provincial public health officer Dr. Jazz Atwal will be joined by vaccine task force lead, Dr. Joss Reimer, and Shared Health’s Monika Warren at a 10 a.m. press conference.

Read more: Manitoba doctors warn healthcare system straining under increasing COVID-19 numbers

Global News will stream the event live in this story.

The media availability comes a day after Doctors Manitoba president Dr. Kristjan Thompson warned the province’s health-care system is “very close to being on the brink” due to a backlog caused by the pandemic.

Click to play video: 'Manitoba doctors warn healthcare system straining under increasing COVID-19 numbers' Manitoba doctors warn healthcare system straining under increasing COVID-19 numbers

Manitoba doctors warn healthcare system straining under increasing COVID-19 numbers

The backlog is now estimated to be at more than 150,000 cases by the group that represents physicians across the province.

Story continues below advertisement

Doctors Manitoba has been calling on the province to set up a task force to tackle the backlog since June.

An announcement on the task force had been expected last week, but Health Minister Audrey Gordon said word on the task force would instead come Wednesday this week.

Read more: Can I get a COVID-19 vaccine yet in Manitoba? How to book it and where to go

An invite to media for the 10 a.m. press conference says the health officials will be discussing COVID-19, vaccines, and a “Shared Health update.”

To deal with a rising number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units, Manitoba has shifted resources from other areas. It has reduced the number of surgeries and diagnostic tests.

In recent days, it cancelled some non-urgent cardiac surgeries to ensure there would be enough staff to cover intensive care beds.

Click to play video: 'Manitoba’s COVID-19 numbers: December 6' Manitoba’s COVID-19 numbers: December 6

Manitoba’s COVID-19 numbers: December 6

Thompson said he fears the province is getting close to the dire situation it was in last spring when dozens of intensive care patients had to be flown to other provinces because of a lack of beds.

Story continues below advertisement

Even though the number of people in intensive care is lower than during the peak last spring, the situation is problematic now because nurses and other workers are leaving ICUs and emergency departments, he said.

Read more: Manitoba reports first Omicron COVID-19 variant case

Meanwhile, Manitoba reported its first lab-confirmed case of the Omicron COVID-19 variant Tuesday.

Health officials reported 93 new cases of COVID-19 and four additional deaths linked to the virus Tuesday.

— with files from The Canadian Press

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

Story continues below advertisement

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus. In some provinces and municipalities across the country, masks or face coverings are now mandatory in indoor public spaces.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, visit our coronavirus page.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

View original article here Source