Two Alberta doctors have joined in a letter to the province’s new health minister, demanding that he take action this week “to prevent further illness, death and suffering.”
In the letter released Sunday, former Alberta Chief Medical Officer Dr. James Talbot and critical care specialist Dr. Noel Gibney highlight seven specific steps for Health Minister Jason Copping to take. in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Tyler Shandro loses health portfolio as Prime Minister Jason Kenney changes cabinet
“Albertans are now dying at a rate of 15 (per) day from COVID-19 with up to 29 dying in a 24-hour period. This is terribly close to our worst experience in the pandemic, when 25 people (per) day died and far fewer people were vaccinated, ”the letter said.
“There is so much COVID circulating in the province, due to our almost total lack of control measures, that Alberta has 11 times more active cases than Ontario and four times more than BC The rates are so high that we are now witnessing rare events like a dying man of 18 years.
“We are in an urgent crisis.”
Both doctors say that the current hospital system in Alberta, especially ICUs, is under more stress than at any time in the province’s history.
Alberta Announces 11 More Deaths From COVID-19, Sets New Record For Number Of People In ICU With Disease
During Friday’s COVID-19 update, the province identified 1,651 new cases of the disease in the past 24 hours. At the provincial level, there were 20,040 active cases.
To stop the increase in cases, both Talbot and Gibney are asking Copping and the Alberta government to:
- work with Alberta Health Services to begin transferring patients from Alberta ICU to ICU in other provinces now,
- require the mandatory use of vaccine passports to access all non-essential services,
- begin mandatory immunization of all employees and contractors, as well as related independent organizations (such as Alberta Blue Cross and WCB),
- require immunization of essential and non-essential business employees,
- restore contact tracing of COVID-19 positive patients,
- require the use of masking inside schools, even when students are sitting in classrooms,
- Implement a set of “firewall” closures and restrictions for a minimum of four weeks, including:
- closure of all nightclubs, casinos, bars and indoor dining rooms,
- closure of indoor exercise and sports activities in sports facilities / clubs and
- strict indoor capacity limits, including stores, shopping malls, and places of worship, and reinforcing the need for indoor social distancing.
Former chief physician calls Alberta’s COVID-19 reopening plan ‘aggressive to the point of recklessness’
Global News reached out to Copping’s office for comment on the letter and will update this story if we receive a response.
Premier says ‘Alberta has done quite well’ in the current state of the province
In a Sunday afternoon interview on the Roy Green Show, Prime Minister Jason Kenney was asked how he is assessing the current situation in the province.
“I think Alberta has done quite well. Albertans have faced the challenge during the first 18 months of the pandemic with a much lower death rate in Canada, much lower than in the United States and Europe, and generally doing so with less damaging restrictions, ”he said. Kenney.
“But we’ve been hit hard by this fourth wave, mainly because we went into this with the lowest vaccination rates in Canada, I would say despite our best efforts.”
The prime minister went on to say, “Alberta’s political culture is unique in some ways.”
“A lot of freedom-loving people here, which I always think is a great asset to this province, but it also means that we probably have a higher proportion of the population that during all this time has not been willing to follow public health guidelines. “.
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.