While many medical professionals have applauded the government’s decision to implement a third, province-wide lockdown, they fear it may not be enough.
The Ontario Medical Association (OMA), which represents Ontario’s physicians and medical officers of health, acknowledged that the past year of pandemic-related restrictions has taken a heavy toll on the province’s economy, as well as residents’ mental health.
However, they believe it’s a necessary evil when it comes to mitigating the spread of COVID-19.
For the past week, the number of new cases has surpassed 2,000 every single day, hospitalizations are up 14 per cent, and the number of people in intensive care units is near where it was towards the start of the pandemic.
Additionally, more contagious variants of the virus are infecting younger people, who may experience long-term health issues as a result.
Because of this, the OMA is urging the Province to impose further restrictions in addition to the 28-day lockdown that is scheduled to begin on Saturday (April 3).
“I am relieved that the government has heeded the advice of our public health physicians, and I hope they will listen to the concerns they are raising today,” Samantha Hill, president of the OMA, said in a news release.
“These diligent physicians are the experts in pandemic medicine and have guided us through the last year, bearing the brunt of each of these difficult decisions,” she continued.
Paul Roumeliotis, chair of the Council of Ontario Medical Officers of Health, is relieved the Province has implemented an Ontario-wide lockdown, but he believes another stay-at-home order is also warranted to further prevent the spread of the virus. “we strongly believe that a stay-at-home order is also required to successfully prevent further cases and strain on Ontario’s acute care system as we continue to vaccinate more Ontarians,” he said.
“In the meantime, we cannot overemphasize the importance of limiting social contacts, maintaining physical distance, diligent mask wearing in situations where close contact may be unavoidable, and handwashing. These simple measures are critical to preventing cases and preserving our capacity to respond,” he added.