The surge in the number of Covid-19 cases has overwhelmed intensive care units in Manitoba hospitals, forcing some patients to be airlifted to other provinces. Eighteen patients were airlifted to neighboring Ontario, including some to Ottawa, about 1,000 miles away. Saskatchewan, the province to the west, was due to receive a patient evacuated from Manitoba on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, a group of doctors called on the province to follow the lead of Ontario and others in introducing a stay-at-home order and shutting down non-essential businesses. These measures have allowed other provinces to contain their most recent waves of infections.
Manitoba stores have been limited to 10% capacity, and gyms and hair salons have been closed for several weeks. On Tuesday, the premier, Brian Pallister, extended the limits on outdoor gatherings that were put in place for last weekend; they now last until the end of this week.
Mr Pallister hinted on Tuesday that the worsening situation in the province was not caused by too few restrictions, but rather by people failing to comply with restrictions already in place.
“I no longer have much sympathy for people who knowingly and willfully disobey public health orders,” he said.