Manitoba NDP leader Wab Kinewis begs Manitobans and the friendly hospital not to give up in the face of the growing Omicron variant.
“I heard the prime minister this week say that Manitobans should take care of themselves,” he told reporters on Friday, after talking about the need to support childcare centers.
“The Manitobats I know are the ones where Manitobans do not just take care of themselves. They take care of each other, and that’s what the Manitobans have done for this whole pandemic.
“It makes no sense for me to give up now just because the finish line is on the horizon.”
FRIEND | “Do not give up” from each other, the leader of the Democratic Party:
Kinew criticized the comments Wednesday from Prime Minister Heather Stefanson, as public health acknowledged that the rapidly spreading variant of COVID-19 leaves Manitoba with no choice but to shift the approach from holding the virus to mitigating the risk.
Stefansonhad suggested it is the public and not the government that is responsible for slowing the spread of COVID-19.
“This virus is spreading throughout our community and it’s up to Manitobans to take care of itself,” the prime minister said at the time.
At a press conference Thursday, Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s public health chief, has said several times that the province’s new approach to dealing with the pandemic does not equate to giving up.
However, the PPD leader accepted Stephenson’s comments to imply a waiver of government responsibilities.
“My message to Manitobans now is that it still matters what we do,” he said Friday. “It still matters if we can help people like my friend get more care from a nurse near the bed.”
Kinew begs hospitalized friend to fight
Kinew’s eyes filled with tears as he spoke to a friend who was fighting for his life in an ICU despite having attended public health advice and being vaccinated.
“The day after he came out, he took the fan from him, he was taken from the Center for Health Sciences to a hospital hundreds of miles away. He is still fighting for his life now.”
Earlier this week, Shared Health said that since October 175 stable patients had been transferred from one regional health authority to another to make room in hospitals.
Kinew said the Manitobansha individual did not stop following public health orders, getting vaccinated and wearing a mask.
“To his dear friend in the hospital bed,” he offered the same message.
“You probably may not understand this now either, but please do not give up. We have not given up on you,” Kinew said, shaking his voice.
FRIEND | The viral moment of former Prime Minister Brian Pallister:
Manitoba politicians have drawn attention in the past to make a passionate prayer.
Former Prime Minister Brian Pallister was internationally acclaimed for his emotional speech in which he called himself the Grinch who stole Christmas for limiting the size of holiday gatherings.
On Friday, the ruling Conservatives responded to claims that they had surrendered to the Omicron variant by stating that they were working alongside Manitobans over the pandemic.
“As public health officials have pointed out, we need to adapt our response as the virus itself changes. As the Omicron variant is highly transmissible and has a shorter incubation period, we need to focus our efforts on mitigating its spread. “As such, the restrictions remain in place to limit the size of the collection and in various indoor environments where the risk of transmission is high,” the prime minister’s office said in a statement.
Accelerate the accreditation of foreign nurses
In another development, PPD MalayaMarcelino had harsh words for the government. She said Wednesday that there could be up to 90 internationally educated (IEN) nurses working at Manitoba hospitals in the coming weeks if the accreditation process accelerates, however she has failed to meet with a licensing body that can help.
The Manitoba College of Registered Nurses told CBC News that it has not been able to arrange a meeting to discuss the initiative, as the province announced funding last July to help these health care workers obtain the required certification.
“I know personally that IEN lawyers have tried to talk to members of the government without any success, but I never thought that the nursing colleges would be in the same boat.”
The government did not answer the question why a meeting was not held.
About 1,360 internationally educated nurses have met the basic eligibility criteria to work in the province, the government said.
But the college said it is aware of only seven applicants who meet the provincial requirements and 48 applicants are currently in various stages of registration.
Manitoba Licensed Practice Nursing College did not provide figures.
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