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Coronavirus: More ventilators on the way, no new cases Thursday in Manitoba

Click to play video: 'Manitoba making more space for patients amid COVID-19 outbreak'
Manitoba making more space for patients amid COVID-19 outbreak
Manitoba Health Minister Cameron Friesen talks about the province's plans to make more space for COVID-19 patients at the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg – Mar 19, 2020

Manitoba has no new cases of the novel coronavirus, but the province is ordering more ventilators to continue to be ready.

While the province initially said there were 27 ventilators on the way, they amended that figure to 21, then later to 23.

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“We are well-positioned in terms of ventilators in the province,” said Minister Cameron Friesen.

He also said HSC has set up their 30-day isolation unit, but it is not yet needed.

Manitoba Public Insurance will also move employees out of their service centre on Bison Drive to be transformed into a COVID-19 testing site.

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Manitoba currently stands at 17 presumed and confirmed cases as of Thursday morning, with two additional cases announced Wednesday afternoon.

No one has died from the virus and one person has been hospitalized. There has been no confirmed evidence of community transmission, said Dr. Brent Roussin, the province’s Chief Public Health officer.

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One of the cases has not been linked to travel or being in contact with another infected person, he said. Public health continues to investigate.

Day programs for adults with intellectual disabilities run by Community Living disABILITY Services are being asked to limit their services to support social distancing.

Roussin said he couldn’t stress enough that people without symptoms do not need to be tested.

“Our lab is strained. they’re going to be prioritizing in-care patients right now….outpatient tests may show a bit of a delay over the next couple of days.”

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As of now, all hospitals will not allow visitors, with a few exceptions.

Several provinces have declared states of emergency and while Friesen said Manitoba isn’t there yet, it’s “not off the table.”

Friesen said it’s inevitable the numbers will rise and understands that people will be anxious.

“We need the compliance of Manitobans. We need their co-operation. We need acts of compassion every day.”

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Manitoba has 2 new presumptive positive cases of COVID-19

Read next: Almost all doctors in Canada support moving to pan-Canadian licensing: survey

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Have a question for the province? Email it to elisha.dacey@globalnews.ca and we will try to ask it at the next press briefing. 

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