Protesters participated in a rally on the grounds of the Saskatchewan Legislature on Thursday to represent the lives lost to COVID-19 in the province and call on the government to take further action.

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The death toll in the province currently stands at 616 after the death of one more resident was reported Thursday. The seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases per day is 364 or 30.2 per 100,000 population.

The protest was held to ask Prime Minister Scott Moe and Health Minister Paul Merriman to “follow the science and implement evidence-based strategies to reduce the strain on our medical system and protect our children.”

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Kathy Undseth is a retired RN and Thursday’s rally is the first protest she has participated in.

“I am absolutely shocked and ashamed to say that I live in Saskatchewan,” Undseth said.

“I am here today to show my support for our healthcare workers, all healthcare professionals and support staff and everyone else who is trying to stay in control of this.”

“People are dying who don’t need to be dying,” Undseth added.

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The new grandmother of a premature baby says she is concerned and hopes the government will take steps to make masks mandatory indoors and introduce vaccine passports.

Protest to Protect co-organizer Donna Pasiechnik echoed those calls Thursday at the same rally.

“We would like to see more contact tracing, more testing, mandatory vaccinations for healthcare workers and teachers, and vaccine passports to protect companies,” Pasiechnik said.

“We know from other provinces where they have implemented vaccine passports that people have stumbled upon themselves to get vaccinated and be able to continue going to restaurants, bars and sporting events.”

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Pasiechnik also had a stern message for the government leadership on Thursday.

“You were chosen to do a job to protect the health of Saskatchewan residents, do it. This abdication of responsibility is reckless. Shift responsibility to school boards, municipalities and private companies … do the job for which you were chosen.

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At the last government press conference on COVID-19 on Aug. 30, Moe said the government has no plans to restore widespread public health measures.

“That would be grossly unfair to the vast majority of Saskatchewan residents who have made the right decision and gone out and been vaccinated,” Moe said.

Pasiechnik said “that doesn’t make any sense.”

“We all did what we were told. We are staying home. We wore masks. We get vaccinated. And now we are being punished again for doing the right thing when you have these anti-maskers lying around, ”Pasiechnik said.

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“We need protection. We would like to see vaccine passports, for example, so that we can all go out and start support businesses, again. That makes no sense. I don’t know where it comes from. “

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An emailed statement from Moe’s press secretary on Wednesday said he and Merriman are engaging with the Saskatchewan Health Authority regarding the recent surge in hospital patients with COVID-19 and “the current capacity of the system. health care “.

The statement added that Moe would have more to say in the coming days.

– with archives from The Canadian Press

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