A leading New Brunswick infectious disease specialist says the decision to remove all restrictions and move the province to the green tier in late July was a mistake.
There was another record day for new COVID-19 cases and three additional deaths on Friday, culminating in a week that has seen an average of 67 new cases and one new hospitalization each day, in a province that has traditionally seen very low COVID. -19 numbers.
“Absolutely, all of us in this room right now, with the evidence of this rapid increase in the Delta virus in this province, would agree that it was not the right decision,” said Dr. Gordon Dow, a specialist in infectious diseases with the Horizon Health Network, he told reporters at a technical briefing on Friday afternoon.
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But Dow, which helps advise the province but does not make these kinds of decisions, said it makes that comment with the benefit of hindsight, and said other provinces also made the same mistake.
He noted that New Brunswick was previously able to keep other outbreaks in check, but the rapid rise of the Delta variant was a game changer.
“Have we called this one less? I would say yes, and I think the majority of New Brunswickers would agree with that, ”Dow said.
“But I would also say that we got it right 85 percent of the time and now what we’re going to do is spin around and control this.”
Premier ‘not very happy’
New Brunswick Prime Minister Blaine Higgs has faced some criticism for lifting the restrictions in July.
The switch to green came before the province reached its initial goal of vaccinating at least 75 percent of the eligible population against COVID-19.
At a press conference on Friday, Higgs announced that the province would restore its state of emergency and introduce additional measures to help slow the spread of the highly infectious Delta variant, which is now the predominant variant in New Brunswick.
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When asked if he regretted it, during a press conference on Friday, Higgs said he was “obviously not very happy” with the current situation. Higgs said it made the decision on July 31 based on information that was available at the time.
“Throughout my life many times in hindsight I would do things differently and yes, could this be one of them? In hindsight, ”he said.
“Right now, we are reacting to the situation we find ourselves in.”
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