THUNDER BAY – Federal Minister of Health Patty Hajdu has said that she will contact her provincial counterpart to assist the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Center in its attempt to do an internal analysis of COVID-19 tests.
Hajdu said it was a provincial affair, but it was also a global problem, with challenges in place to procure enough reagents to allow laboratory work. Doing it locally would reduce the turnaround time from four days to six days to a few hours.
“Right now, we understand that the provinces have what they need to do the accelerated testing … So I’m going to make sure to report (to Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott) that Thunder Bay does not have this particular component of their ability to do faster tests. ”
Hajdu’s main message to the Canadian public and its constituents is to stay the course and to trust the success of the stringent COVID-19 restrictions, which remain in effect across the country.
While U.S. President Donald Trump suggested he wanted to reopen the U.S. economy in early May, Hajdu said it was sometimes difficult to see the big picture, but that’s also why Ottawa has opened the coffers to help people and businesses affected by the provincial mandate locking out all non-essential businesses.
“We know it is difficult financially for everyone, including the Canadian economy. But we also know that we don’t want to have to relive that, ”she said.
“We need to use the science and data on the management of this disease and the new tools we are developing to have an exit strategy that protects the health of Canadians in terms of our ability to test and track and contain and then manage these serious cases at the other end. ”
Hajdu said it was too early, however, to set a timetable on when the restrictions should be lifted, acknowledging that this is the # 1 question on the minds of many Canadians.
“Everyone wants to know when it is over and I certainly think all governments want to know as well,” said Hajdu.
“I spoke to my G7 counterparts this morning and it is a priority for the world. In fact, the World Health Organization has issued some guidelines for countries to follow when developing their own plans. And it is really for the purpose of protecting human health, but also to try to ensure that countries, and by default, provinces and territories, have the right tools at stake so that they can contain the virius.
“I think we have to come to a new normal that includes living with COVID. “
Hajdu said work is continuing on a virus, including in Canada, but warned that viruses like this can take a long time to contain.
Hajdu also agreed with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s assessment that the border with the United States should be closed for “several weeks” to non-essential traffic.
The United States has more than 667,000 cases and has recorded more than 33,900 deaths, by far the highest total recorded in the world.
The Minister of Health has said that opening any border will require great caution. Canada will first need to strengthen its capacity to track and trace COVID-19.
“Now that we have a positive momentum on the slowdown in new cases, I will also say that we have not yet reached our peak, and we do not necessarily know how long it will take us to decline from this first abrupt wave Said Hajdu. , “Which means we’re going to have to be very careful about our borders and of course our land borders are no different. “