COVID-19 cases declining, but Saskatchewan hospitals still under pressure: top doctor

The Saskatchewan authorities says the province’s fourth wave is waning as COVID-19 circumstances decline, however well being officers say hospitals are nonetheless underneath important stress.

Dr. Saqib Shahab, chief medical well being officer, mentioned Tuesday that it’s going to take 4 to 6 weeks for hospitals to return to sustainable ranges — and that’s provided that individuals stay vigilant by getting vaccinated and decreasing gathering sizes.

“Every day case numbers are coming down and I’m certain we’re all listening to a sigh of aid, however we’ve got to stay cautious,” Shahab mentioned.

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Meili calls Merriman a ‘failure’, Moe says ‘zip it’ in heated alternate over surgical procedure delays

The province reported 107 circumstances, down from a peak of 650 circumstances 5 weeks in the past.

There have been 222 individuals in hospital with the virus, 48 of them receiving intensive care. The province’s ICUs remained 123 per cent over baseline capability.

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The Saskatchewan Well being Authority mentioned it’s too early to inform if the drop in circumstances is a development.

“(Well being-care employees) are drained, they’re exhausted, they’ve been working at a really, very excessive acuity fee in our ICUs for a number of weeks,” mentioned Scott Livingstone, the well being authority’s CEO. “One of these care will not be sustainable.”

Shahab mentioned there are rural areas the place 30 to 40 per cent of eligible populations stay unvaccinated, which is sufficient to drive extra substantive waves of COVID-19.

“We have to stay extraordinarily vigilant over the winter months,” he mentioned.

Because of the intense stress that COVID-19 has placed on hospitals, the backlog of these ready for elective surgical procedure is at 35,000, mentioned Well being Minister Paul Merriman.

Livingstone added it may take 18 months to make amends for hip and knee surgical procedures alone, not together with anybody newly added to the ready checklist.

“We’ve acquired an enormous hill to climb on getting our surgical numbers again to an appropriate stage,” mentioned Merriman.

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Saskatchewan Well being Authority CEO can’t say when surgical procedures will resume

He mentioned his ministry has put aside $20 million for surgical procedures however will want much more cash within the coming yr to deal with the backlog.

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The province stays with out a plan to increase its surgical capability, together with the way it will discover extra health-care employees to assist with the backlog.

“We haven’t constructed a plan, accepted and staffed (it), as a result of we’re nonetheless in the course of the pandemic,” Livingstone mentioned.

If individuals diminished their gathering sizes, the 275 health-care companies which were diminished would have the ability to resume sooner, he added.

Merriman mentioned he received’t usher in restrictions on gathering sizes as a result of the province’s proof of vaccine coverage and masks mandate is bringing case numbers down.

“It’s working. Additional restrictions proper now, I don’t assume they’re warranted,” Merriman mentioned.

He later added that the Saskatchewan Celebration authorities is doing the whole lot it may well to assist surgical procedures resume.

NDP Opposition Chief Ryan Meili known as Merriman an “incompetent minister that has failed this province drastically.”

“I don’t assume this minister has a great sense of how the health-care system works, and I don’t imagine he’s listening totally to key leaders throughout the health-care system, together with Dr. Shahab,” Meili mentioned.

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