Montreal, Canada – Dr. Naheed Dosani said that the medical staff in Ontario were very angry.
Work tirelessly between the recent increase in COVID-19 infectionDosani said, now rapidly filling intensive care units across Canada, hospital staff are “dealing with severe trauma (and) trauma” as they treat so many patients with coronavirus, Dosani said.
But what makes it even more difficult, Toronto-based palliative care physician and medical justice activist told Al Jazeera, who is watching the Ontario government come up with measures he says will not enough to control the pandemic.
“This whole humanitarian disaster should never have happened. If the Ontario government only listened to the experts and made important decisions… around public health constraints, we would never have been here, ”Dosani said.
“This whole scenario is completely preventable.”
Check for infection
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned on April 6 that Canada was face a third “very serious” pandemic waveand this week, averaged seven days nationwide for new coronavirus infections overcome of the United States per capita.
Ontario, the country’s most populous province, is one of the hardest hit, with new, more contagious strains of virus spreading rapidly. According to Ontario’s COVID-19 advisory table, variations are known to account for concern 67 percent of all infections as of March 29. Variants also increase risk of hospitalization by 63 percent; Special care hospital admissions were 103 percent, and mortality was 56 percent.
As of April 17, the total number of coronavirus infections in Ontario was 2,801 per 100,000 people, while as of Sunday, its seven-day average daily new infections were 4,341 and 741 COVID-19 patient has received special care. Globe and Mail newspaper report that 1,040 COVID-19 patients were at ICU nationwide on April 12, surpassing the peak of the second round with about 150 people.
While the federal government of Canada is responsible for securing the COVID-19 vaccine and making national recommendations during a pandemic, health is controlled at the provincial level in Canada, meaning that each province has have your own plan to deal with the virus.
Premier Doug Ford says his government is acting as fast as possible and adopting a science-based approach, limiting direct shopping and eating, ordering schools to return to distance learning. and increase vaccination efforts this month. On April 7, Ford impose orders to stay at home across the province and declared Ontario’s third state of emergency since the beginning of the pandemic.
Ford told reporters during a press conference that day: “Even the people who are showing us the charts and where we will go… the capacity at ICU and these variants are far beyond what they are. told us. “And the second time I found out yesterday, I immediately asked them to write the order.”
But for weeks before that, Ford eased restrictions based on the number of cases in various regions across Ontario even though health experts urged right-wing, populist prime ministers to uphold the measures. because the forecasts show that the hospital ICU can be filled and the number of daily cases can reach record levels.
“The actual number of cases at the ICU is within our expected range and in fact, closer to our best case, than the worst case,” said an Ontario medical team of experts. released COVID-19 model data during pandemic said on April 7, refuting the idea that Ford was only informed a day before about hospital capacity.
During today’s press conference, the Premier suggested that the model did not predict the number of these COVID-19 patients in our ICUs. The actual number of cases in the ICU is within our expected range and is, in fact, close to our best case, rather than the worst case scenario. pic.twitter.com/6KJKpS9lPE
– Covid19MC (@ covid19mc) April 7, 2021
Experts urged the province to more narrowly define what constitutes an “essential” workplace and to deliver more coronavirus vaccines to severely affected populations, especially those in dwellings. workers of color, who have been affected by the disease during the pandemic.
Many also pressed Ford ensure paid sick leave for employees, arguing that workplace outbreaks are driving the spread of infections because workers can’t stay home without pay if they get sick. But he repeatedly denied that opinion, accusing his supporters of “playing political games”.
As health workers and medical associations continue to urge the prime minister to tighten restrictions, speed up vaccine delivery and provide more help to frontline workers, Ford on Friday renewed ordered two weeks of residency at the province’s home and ordered the closure of Ontario’s borders. interprovincial.
You too announced The closure of a slew of outdoor spaces, including playgrounds – despite a lack of evidence that those settings are increasing infection rates – and allows police to stop anyone from asking for their address and why they were not at home and stopped their vehicles.
“We are making difficult, but essential, decisions to minimize mobility and keep people safe in their homes,” he said in a statement.
In a province where blacks, indigenous peoples and other minorities for years have been disproportionately targeted by police “gambling” activities – police intercepting people on the streets and falling in love. request for their identity – an outcry was made immediately. A learn Last year also found that racist Canadians also bear the brunt of enforcing coronavirus rules.
A day later, Ford came back to his decision, saying playground can be kept public and police will only be allowed to prevent individuals who are believed to be participating in an organized event or hosting a Canadian social or media gathering report.
Dosani told Al Jazeera: “We cannot police our way out of this pandemic. “Why does it require a ruckus, why does it require a backlash, why do health workers and the people of Ontario have to scream and scream, raise their hands, to our government listen?”
Trudeau announced plans on Sunday to send federal health workers to Ontario, as well as deploy the COVID-19 test quickly to provincial hotspots, “especially for workers and workplaces. “.
Meanwhile, frontline health workers such as vital care nurse Birgit Umaigba continue to treat patients with COVID-19. Umaigma says she is scared of every work shift – both herself getting sick and spreading it while moving between the patient and the hospital in the Toronto area.
But with a lack of nursing – a long-term problem that has worsened during the pandemic – and the need to put food on the table for herself and her nine-year-old daughter, Umaigba says she has no choice. other.
She told Al Jazeera: “Every day I go in, I get scared. “Honestly, sometimes I don’t even want to go, but I showed up because we were too short [staffed], The ICU Nurse, and I have to support my family as well. It is a terrifying situation. There was too much anxiety in the air. “
Umaigba said she had been infected with COVID-19 once so far during the pandemic and had been exposed to the virus in another; both times, she spent two weeks of isolation at home without pay. She says paid sick leave will be a long way for those working at the front lines.
“I am seeing a predominantly ethnic group of people who have been admitted to the ICU and from what I’ve gathered, a lot of these are working-class, low-paid factory workers. who are not entitled to paid sick leave or any vacation. paid them to get vaccinated, ”she said.
“I didn’t get paid sick leave, yet I continued to stay by the hospital bed to save my life. That is wrong at all levels. The least the government can do for me is to make sure I get paid sick leave when I get sick working on the front line, and let a lot of other people do the same. “