NDP calling for action after modelling shows risks of Saskatchewan hospitals being overwhelmed

The provincial NDP government is calling on the Sask. Party to not wait until it’s too late, and implement proactive Omicron protections now.

Current government modelling shows daily cases, hospitalizations, and ICU admissions will increase in the next month without stronger public health interventions, such as gathering limits.

Dr. Shabad recommended residents avoid celebrating in large groups and use rapid tests to monitor themselves closely. Currently, Saskatchewan is the only province without health orders responding to the spread of the Omicron variant.

NDP Leader Ryan Meili said that the modelling that is out now and looking at other provinces is acting now.

“We are seeing Nova Scotia, BC, Ontario, Quebec, getting hit hard, and as we saw yesterday with the public modelling being released showing that with the existing measures Saskatchewan is set to face a rapid and dramatic spike in hospitalizations, ICU admissions, and with more people losing there lives,” he said.

“We know that our hospitals are still full from the last one, we still have the highest per capita COVID admissions, highest per capita ICU admissions, we haven’t yet recovered from the last wave, we can not afford to get this wrong,” he added.

Experts are describing the Omicron variant, which is likely to become the dominant strain of COVID-19 spreading in the coming weeks, as more transmissible than previous strains but with milder symptoms.

Meili said that if the province acts now, it will spell good news.

“We had a chance to get ahead in a way we didn’t the last wave. We failed to get ahead of the delta wave; we ignored the modelling that time, we don’t have to do that again,” he said. “Every other province is getting hit hard already, we aren’t yet, and we can be in a better place than the rest of the country this time.”

If not, he said the province would be in a terrible place.

“The decision from the government to say that they aren’t planning any new measures at this time makes zero sense. We have an opportunity as Scott Moe now has the foresight available to him, seeing what is happening with every other province, and he’s got the hindsight from his failure with the worst fourth wave in the entire country,” he said. “The question now and the opportunity now is will we learn the lesson of previous waves, and we will lead the way with proactive measures before things get bad, or will we blindly wait again, putting short-term political considerations ahead of people’s lives.”

Saskatchewan had detected 82 cases of Omicron. Sixty-five of those cases are linked to international travel, one-third are related to interprovincial travel, and one-third are from household transmission.

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