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Omicron cases may be dropping in Canada’s First Nations: top doctor

Click to play video: 'Hajdu outlines supports sent to Bearskin Lake, says cases ‘dropping quickly’' Hajdu outlines supports sent to Bearskin Lake, says cases ‘dropping quickly’
Indigenous Services Minister Patty Hajdu outlined on Thursday the various supports sent so far to Bearskin Lake First Nation which had been dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak. She said that the "good news" was cases of people sick or isolating were both dropping quickly. – Jan 13, 2022

The top doctor for Indigenous Services Canada says he’s cautiously optimistic the Omicron-driven wave of the pandemic may be flattening across First Nations.

Dr. Tom Wong, the department’s chief public health officer, says for this to happen nationally, communities need to maintain their health measures.

As of last week the department reported nearly 85 per cent of people 12 and older living on First Nations have received both their doses of vaccine to protect against COVID-19.

Read more: Ontario to begin lifting COVID-19 restrictions on Jan. 31

Wong says there are communities in every region with lower-than-anticipated vaccine uptake, and so far only 20 per cent of adults on reserve have been immunized with a third booster dose.

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The department says there are currently roughly 5,000 active cases on First Nations.

Wong says now is not the time for leaders to relax health rules brought in to blunt the spread of COVID-19 because the Omicron variant is highly contagious.

“There is light at the end of the tunnel — but not now,” he said during a briefing Thursday.

Click to play video: 'COVID-19: Ontario sees ‘glimmers of hope’ in Omicron fight, health minister says' COVID-19: Ontario sees ‘glimmers of hope’ in Omicron fight, health minister says
COVID-19: Ontario sees ‘glimmers of hope’ in Omicron fight, health minister says – Jan 19, 2022

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