Regina – The federal government stands ready to help Saskatchewan fight the fourth wave of COVID-19.
In a tweet on Friday, Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu confirmed that she spoke with Provincial Health Minister Paul Merriman and “made sure she knew the federal government would be there to help the people of Saskatchewan in this health crisis.” “
The tweet reads, ‘Wherever we need it, we are ready to help.
While the federal government stands ready to help, Hajdu reminds Merriman that it takes time to deploy these resources, and that equipment is easier to send out than healthcare workers.
Hajdu said in a phone interview, “It depends on Saskatchewan’s resource needs, which is why it is so important that the provinces are looking ahead to what they anticipate they will need as they need to deal with the boom.” Will try.”
He said the province had not yet made any official requests.
Merriman’s office did not respond to an interview request, and the health minister last took open questions to the media a month ago.
Granthshala News received a letter from the minister to Hajdu.
“I want to thank you for expanding what you’ve proposed in terms of federal aid if the province of Saskatchewan needs it,” Merriman’s letter said.
“At this time, we have expanded capacity in our acute and intensive care units to address the pressures we are experiencing, and we will continue to use ever-present federal resources to supplement those efforts.”
However, Merriman requested expedited approval for rapid testing and delivery of antibody therapies.
Ottawa’s offer comes as Saskatchewan continues to break COVID-19 records. On Sunday the province reported more than 550 new cases, its highest new daily case count since the start of the pandemic. Those cases pushed the province to an all-time high of 4,864 active cases.
Infectious disease specialist Dr. Alex Wong said this wave feels different from the others.
“People are so sad and sorry that they are asking for a vaccine, they are begging for a vaccine,” Wong said.
Wong said the next two weeks will be crucial in determining where the curve is headed, with the biggest challenge being healthcare staff. He agreed with the federal minister that a proactive approach is the only way to secure resources.
“In no way shape or form do I think we are close to getting out of this,” Wong said.
“We need to send some consistent messaging about where we are now and how dire the situation is.”
Wong is calling on the province to introduce short, immediate measures to cut transmission. He said those calls did not involve the lockdown, but rather the extent of gathering size and expanding contact tracing.
The official opposition had previously asked Premier Scott Moe to formally ask Ottawa for help.
The NDP says the time has come for the province to consider supporting the Canadian military through contact tracing, testing and a variety of frontline support.
Last Wednesday, the province said it was in regular contact with the federal government about its response to the pandemic. While it has asked for additional rapid test kits, no other requests for federal support have been made.