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Nearly 300 Saskatchewan doctors are calling for stricter COVID-19 measures and changes in vaccine deployment

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Saskatchewan Health Minister Paul Merriman (right) said during a press conference in Regina on December 9, 2020, under the watchful eye of Prime Minister Scott Moe.

Michael Bell / The Canadian Press

A group of 285 Saskatchewan doctors have united to urge the state government to implement stricter COVID-19 health measures and immunize young mandatory workers.

The doctor’s name was in a letter sent to Prime Minister Scott Moe and Health Minister Paul Merriman on Friday, stating that intensive care hospitalization was the highest ever for young and previously healthy people.

“Many of these (people) are essential service workers, a group of people with low socio-economic status who cannot stay home or be isolated from their families if someone gets sick.” I read the letter.

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“The number of young people under the age of 19 is increasing, and the number of cases at school is increasing.”

Doctors said the government wanted to strengthen public health measures throughout the state, consistent with what is being done in Regina.

The metropolitan area has become a hotspot for more contagious variants of COVID-19, forcing the government to implement stricter rules.

In Regina and some communities around it, private indoor gatherings are restricted to household members, restaurants are closed for face-to-face meals, face-to-face worship is limited to 30 people, and all. The event venue is closed.

Restrictions in other parts of the state include allowing individual households to accommodate up to 10 people at a time from a few different households. Worship services can also include up to 30% of the building’s seating capacity or 150 participants, whichever is less.

“Current measures are inadequate. Our system does not address these more aggressive, more contagious, and more deadly mutations,” said the doctor’s letter.

“Without further action, both our healthcare system and our economy will be further devastated.”

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Health officials reported 358 new cases of COVID-19 and 6 new deaths on Friday. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 453 people have died in Saskatchewan due to the virus.

According to the state, screening in Saskatchewan identified a total of 3,086 subspecies of concern. There were 206 hospitalized patients, 43 of whom were in the intensive care unit.

The doctor’s letter also stated that the government should provide immediate financial support to those whose livelihoods have been affected by the pandemic and provide paid sick leave to all essential workers.

“Vaccination is the light at the end of the tunnel, but we are not close enough to rely on them alone,” the doctor wrote.

They also urged the state to rethink its age-based immunization strategy, stating that young health workers and front-line workers cannot be vaccinated fast enough to protect them.

According to doctors, all high-risk workers and people need to be prioritized due to socio-economic factors and medical risks.

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Earlier in the week, the Saskatchewan Medical Association also criticized age-based vaccination plans.

“It will result in more deaths and long-term illness,” the association said on Wednesday if the government refused to immediately immunize essential workers, including doctors and health workers who had not yet been fired. Stated.

The Saskatchewan government could not immediately comment on the letter, but said changing age-based strategies would slow people’s firing.

Opposition NDP health critic Vicki Mowat said in a statement Friday that ignoring experts would lead to a “blockade of slow motion” and would not control the pandemic or bring people back to work.

“The premiere had the opportunity to take the right steps to introduce a short circuit breaker in November, when the second wave hit our state,” Mowat said.

“But he’s currently ignoring experts, so he was ignoring them at the time.”

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published on April 9, 2021.

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