The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) issued an urgent call on Friday for unprecedented measures in order to address the rising number of COVID-19 cases in provinces across the country.
In a statement, the CMA called for marshaling national resources, applying restrictive health measures and prioritizing national collaboration.
They added that province-to-province collaboration and national leadership is needed to address the scale and severity of the pandemic and recommended sharing health care resources across provincial and territorial borders to support areas that most need help.
“As the third wave of the pandemic wreaks havoc on the healthcare and public health systems, healthcare providers, and patients, we are at a critical juncture where a truly national approach to combatting COVID-19 will make the difference between more or fewer lives saved,” Dr. Ann Collins, the president of the CMA said in a statement. “This country must come together to help support provinces most severely impacted.”
The CMA called on the federal government to alter its vaccine distribution and prioritize areas that have an urgent need for vaccines rather than the government’s current per-capita approach. They also said that an enhanced form of paid sick leave is required.
In a press conference on Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the federal government worked with the provinces on the per-capita allocation of vaccines.
“But of course we’re happy to continue to work with the provinces on adjusting as the provinces see necessary,” he added.
According to data from the Public Health Agency of Canada, as of April 10, 2021, 7,290,869 people, 19.18 per cent of population, have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 809,618 people, 2.13 per cent, have received two doses.
The CMA added that further restrictions must be considered for provinces with lower COVID-19 transmission rates than in Ontario and Quebec in order to support other jurisdictions in dire circumstances.
“These are strong measures, but they are absolutely needed,” Collins said. “We are one country, and it’s time we started acting as one by deploying resources where they are most needed. If we can’t achieve this through voluntary cooperation, then more and stronger measures might be needed.”
The call to action comes as experts warned that Ontario could see more than 18,000 new daily COVID-19 infections if current trends continue, according to a report by CBC News.
With files from CBC News