Emergency doctor believes Ontario premier is getting ‘bad advice’ as COVID-19 positivity rates soar in Toronto

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TORONTO – An emergency room doctor says he believes the premier of Ontario is receiving “bad advice” as COVID-19 positivity rates in some areas of Toronto begin to rise. Dr Kashif Pirzada made the comments Wednesday morning after a report from the Toronto Star revealed that four areas of Toronto have positivity rates above 10% and two-thirds of the city have higher test positivity rates. at three%.

“I think he might be getting some bad advice right now,” Pirzada told CTV News Your Morning. “As I think he might not have known until yesterday’s press conference. ”

On Tuesday, Ontario’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Barbara Yaffe was asked about the report during an announcement at Queen’s Park and admitted that she had not seen the data herself.

“I read the article in the newspaper. It’s very worrying, ”she said.

As a result, Pirzada said he hopes Ford’s medical team will give him “better numbers” in an effort to make policy decisions that will effectively curb the spread of the disease.

“There is potential there to really halve this problem if we act quickly, so I think he needs better advice,” he said, while suggesting that Toronto’s medical officer of health, the Dr Eileen de Villa, could advise the Prime Minister directly.

Last week, de Villa wrote an open letter to Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr David Williams, asking for a series of new restrictions that would be in place for the next 28 days and essentially bring Toronto back to something more. resembling the lock that was in place in the spring.

Dr Williams said he continues to consult with Toronto’s public health department on the best way forward, but has declined to approve or even accept de Villa’s request.

At the same time, Premier Doug Ford said he needed “hard evidence” before agreeing to close indoor restaurants in the nation’s largest city.

Pirzada said that without more targeted restrictions in place, Ontario will begin to experience the type of outbreak of COVID-19 cases recorded in places like Quebec within a week or two.

Additionally, he said the number of cases in Ontario could resemble those in Madrid and Paris, both of which are reporting record numbers of new COVID-19 cases, in “about a month”.

Pirzada also referred to the situation in New York, which is currently in its second wave, where officials are shutting down hotpsots with positivity rates above 3%.

“New York City is shutting things down at 3%, if we’re already at 10%, it’s very alarming and it’s going to spread.”

With files from Codi Wilson and Chris Fox.

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