Canada warns provinces they need to do more to fight Omicron variant | Inquirer News
Close  

Canada warns provinces they need to do more to fight Omicron variant

/ 06:56 AM January 08, 2022
People queue to collect coronavirus disease (COVID-19) antigen test kits at the Hazeldean Mall in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada January 7, 2022. REUTERS/Patrick Doyle

People queue to collect coronavirus disease (COVID-19) antigen test kits at the Hazeldean Mall in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada January 7, 2022. (REUTERS)

OTTAWA  – Canadian Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos on Friday warned some of the country’s 10 provinces that they needed to do more to fight the Omicron coronavirus variant and prevent healthcare systems from being swamped.

New daily cases of COVID-19 soared by 65% in the last week across Canada, and hospitals say it is becoming increasingly hard to maintain staffing levels.

ADVERTISEMENT

Duclos said provinces should pay attention to Ontario and Quebec, which together account for around 61% of Canada’s population of 38.4 million. Both have reimposed severe restrictions on businesses and gatherings.

“Those two provinces are going through a very difficult time. That, however, is a signal to other provinces … that they may be just a week, perhaps two weeks behind,” he said.

FEATURED STORIES

This was important because the federal government did not have sufficient resources to give the provinces all the help they wanted, he told a briefing.

“(That) is a kind warning – but a clear warning – to some provinces … that they need to act now,” he said. Provinces are responsible for administering healthcare and receive around a quarter of their funding from Ottawa.

Chief medical officer Theresa Tam said that while the risk of hospitalization was lower for Omicron compared to the Delta variant, “the sudden acceleration of Omicron and enormous volume of cases is driving severe illness trends”.

Tam and Duclos reiterated that Canadians should get inoculated against COVID-19. Official data show that as of Dec 18, 87.3% of Canadians aged 12 and older had received two shots while the figure for children aged 5 to 12 was just 1.3%

Duclos said 8.6 million booster shots had been administered. The federal health ministry would have more to say in coming weeks about its review of oral anti-viral drug candidates made by Pfizer Inc and Merck & Co Inc, he added.

gsg

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link.

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Canada, COVID-19, Omicron
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.



© Copyright 1997-2022 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.