The Métis Nation-Saskatchewan (MN-S) has declared a state of emergency for the 75,000 Métis citizens in the province amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“This state of emergency is required to urge action and further collaboration between all levels of government to respond to the unique challenges facing Métis people in urban centres and remote and northern communities,” said MN-S in a press release.
MN-S says they have worked with the federal government and other partners to secure funding and personal protective equipment (PPE), but they’re requiring more resources to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“Until the essential and lifesaving needs of Métis peoples are properly met, MN-S must declare a provincewide state of emergency on behalf of its citizens,” MN-S said.
The MN-S is asking for better communication regarding confirmed cases, further coordination of critical food and essential services and “strengthening perimeters to protect communities from unmonitored visitors.” This includes restrictions on non-essential travel in the north and other remote areas, MN-S says.
“Without stronger measures, northern and remote Métis communities are at risk of further spread of the virus without adequate critical medical services or infrastructure,” MN-S said.
Global News has reached out to MN-S for further comment.
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.
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