Premier Jason Kenney says he supports the federal government’s decision to ban all foreign nationals from several southern African countries from entering Canada, but a leading emergency room doctor says Alberta needs to take additional steps. needed.
In a tweet, the premier says he agrees with the new sanctions and that Canada should not repeat “the mistake of its open border policy at the start of the pandemic”.
Calgary emergency room physician Dr. Joe Wipond says more needs to be done at the provincial level because the variant has already spread outside of South Africa. He is encouraging the provincial government to impose its own travel restrictions.
“Certainly what was done in the past in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and PEI works,” Vipond said.
During previous waves of the pandemic, travelers from Atlantic Canada were required to quarantine for two weeks and undergo rapid testing.
Wipond says he doesn’t believe Alberta’s government “has the guts” to implement inter-provincial travel restrictions, but they will help stop the new version from spreading in the province.
The announcement of the new version comes as the number of COVID-19 cases in the province has begun to rise.
Vipond says restrictions in place since mid-September have worked well in containing the spread, but with the return of cold weather, more people are gathering indoors and the number of cases is increasing week by week.
“This is worrying, because it means that the policies we have in place are not currently working,” Vipond explained. “It’s not that the government is doing anything wrong, it’s just that we’re not doing enough to make up for the situation we’re in now.”
Vipond says that more measures should be taken to bring our current situation under control. He suggests making masks mandatory in schools at all times and making rapid testing easily available to the general public.
“All the mitigation measures that have worked for the old stuff, including ventilation and masks, have worked in the past and should work for the newer version. Until we know more about Omicron, we should be vaccinating more and more people.” should continue to try to impose, and increase public health measures to try and reduce the spread of the virus.”