Manitoba looking to help Ontario and its climbing COVID-19 cases

WINNIPEG — With a record-breaking 4,812 new cases of COVID-19 reported on Friday, the Ontario government has turned to other provinces for help with health-care resources.

“In order to meet the anticipated demands following the peak of Ontario’s third wave, we are seeking the assistance of 620 professionals to support Ontario hospitals,” reads a letter sent to provinces from Ontario Deputy Minister of Health Helen Angus.

In response, the Manitoba government said it is evaluating the request to see if, and how, help could be provided, adding officials are already in contact with their counterparts in Ontario.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Premier Pallister tells CTV News provincial governments have been working collaboratively throughout the pandemic to help protect the safety of Canadians from COVID-19.

“The Manitoba government has a long and proud record of helping our neighbours in time of need and will do whatever we can to assist Ontarians at this time,” reads the statement. “Ontario is requesting specific health-care system supports which we are currently evaluating to determine whether and how this could be provided.”

The Ontario request for health-care support includes 500 nurses, 100 respiratory therapists, 10 perfusionists and another 10 anesthesia assistants.

Health officials in that province reported another 4,362 new infections Saturday, with over 2000 people in hospital.

On Friday, Dr. Jazz Atwall warned Manitobans about following current health orders, saying we’re on track to see the variants of concern cases double in the next ten days.

“I think people should open their eyes, you know we have in Ontario, if you see what’s happening in Ontario, they have 700, roughly 700 people in the ICU, that number will climb,” said Atwall.

Ontario announced new tough restrictions on Friday, including stopping people entering the province from Manitoba and Quebec.

Manitobans were expecting to hear more about new restrictions by Friday but Atwal says health officials are still analyzing COVID-19 trends and looking at the epidemiology. He says Manitoba’s plan has been pushed to next week.

           

With files from CTVs Jeff Keele

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