COVID-19: Alberta doctors warn of further easing of restrictions

COVID-19: Alberta doctors warn of further easing of restrictions

The possibility of relaxing COVID-19 restrictions in the province next Monday has prompted some Alberta doctors to sound the alarm bells.
They say people should be more concerned with the third wave rather than entering the third phase of easing restrictions.

“We’ve been in a third wave for a week. Anyone who hasn’t recognized that who keeps pretending this isn’t happening is giving you gas. It’s happening, it’s evident in the numbers and it won’t slow down until we put more policies in place, ”said Dr Joe Vipond.

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“It is irresponsible and dangerous to talk about reopening when the real conversation we should be having is whether we should go into a full lockdown.”

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Dr Noel Gibney said he suspects the province wants to move forward with at least some aspects of Stage 3, but with the increase in COVID-19 cases in Edmonton, Calgary and Lethbridge, he says that this is not the time.

“Phase 3 would see the opening of many areas that could certainly turn into mass-market events,” said Gibney, co-chair of the Edmonton Zone Medical Staff Association’s pandemic response committee.

Gibney said the new strain is growing rapidly, doubling roughly every 11 days.

“Modeling studies suggest that it will replace the original strain as the dominant strain in Alberta probably around the beginning of the second week of April,” Gibney said.

Vipond said we now know how to handle this virus and every illness and death is predictable.

“We know the sooner you nip this in the bud, the sooner we get control of the virus, and we get into dangerous territory,” Vipond said.

He said that while many people have already received the vaccine, there are still millions of Albertans who do not and still are susceptible to the virus.

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According to the province’s reopening strategy, hospitalizations must be down and below 300 to proceed to stage 3.

A decision is expected Monday.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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