The former head of the Canadian Medical Association is sounding the alarm over COVID-19 in Manitoba.
Dr. Gigi Osler told 680 CJOB the province is already in a worse position than it was before the second lockdown in the fall.
The rate of reproduction in Manitoba, Osler said, eclipsed 1.3 Sunday — meaning for every one person infected, they could go on and infect 1.3 people.
That number is higher than last October, when it was 1.25.
“It is a sign that we are definitely in that third wave… my concern is that we’re headed on the same path as Ontario,” she said.
“(We’re) on the same path we were on last fall, and I don’t think anyone wants to go back to the restrictions we had last winter.”
“I feel like we’re in this race against COVID-19, but the variants have changed the rules,” Osler said.
“The variants are more transmissable and more deadly, yet I feel like in Manitoba, we are using the same playbook.”
Osler said one difference this time around is the exhaustion of healthcare workers, many of whom are barely out of the second wave themselves.
She said vaccines are the only way out of the third wave — and Manitobans need to follow the fundamentals for a little while longer if we want to avoid another round of restrictions.
That message has been reiterated by the province, with Dr. Joss Reimer, medical lead on the province’s vaccine task force, saying Friday it looked like Manitoba was at the beginning of a third wave.
Reimer reiterated the fundamentals, saying now is a critical time in halting the spread of the virus and its variants.
“We’ve seen that variants can have more serious effects on younger people,” Reimer said. “We need to take these steps now.”