SASKATOON - Official Opposition Health Critic Vicki Mowat called on the Sask. Party government today to update the people of Saskatchewan on the steps the province is taking to protect against and prepare for a possible third wave of COVID-19.
“With multiple coronavirus variants now circulating in Canada and public health officials in other provinces sounding the alarm about a potential third wave, the Premier and the Minister of Health need to let the people of Saskatchewan know what they are doing to protect families,” said Mowat. “The stakes are high. A third wave could overwhelm our already stretched and stressed health care system.”
COVID-19 variants have been spreading throughout Canada, raising fears of a possible third wave. Newfoundland and Labrador is currently in the grips of an outbreak of the B117 variant. This variant has now been found in every province in the country. There are now concerns that different strains are combining and becoming more virulent.
“Premier Moe and Paul Merriman failed to act when the second wave hit Saskatchewan, and families have paid the price,” said Mowat. “While other provinces saw steep reductions in case counts and death rates, Saskatchewan led the nation. That can’t happen again. The Premier needs to lay out a clear plan that Saskatchewan families can count on.”
Mowat noted that Saskatchewan New Democrats have called for several measures to guard against a resurgence of COVID-19 in recent weeks, including:
- Wide-spread rapid testing in schools, long-term care facilities, and high-risk communities and workplaces
- Using the province’s untouched $260 million “contingency fund” to staff up laboratory services and testing and tracing, and the immediate hiring of the 300 Continuing Care Aides promised in the Throne Speech
- The immediate transfer of Extendicare’s for-profit long-term care homes to the SHA, to guard against a repeat of the disaster at Extendicare Parkside in Regina