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'We cannot give up': Canadian Medical Association warns about potential second wave of COVID-19

Last Updated Jul 10, 2020 at 10:41 am MDT

In this illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). This virus was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. THE CANADIAN PRESS/CDC via AP, File

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – As Canadians are recovering from the battle with COVID-19, medical professionals are warning not to let our guard down, otherwise a second wave could hit.

Earlier this week, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) targeted five issues they believe the country needs to address to avoid a dangerous second wave from happening.

“We cannot give up, we cannot become complacent. The whole point really of our messaging is to avoid what could be a very serious second wave which could be worse, potentially, than the first wave,” said CMA Dr. Sandy Buckman.

The issues brought forward by the CMA include following public health orders, proactive testing and tracing, protecting health care workers and marginalized communities and managing other health care issues.

Buckman is worried that backsliding on any of these could mean Canada sees a second wave similar to the first wave currently in the southern United States.

“That would be a situation where so many people are getting COVID-19 that it overwhelms our hospitals. The reality is that we need to get used to living with COVID-19 and we have an opportunity today to minimize the impact of a COVID resurgence, including potential loss of life and economic hardship.”

On Thursday, a report from a Senate committee said the country isn’t prepared to handle a second wave of COVID-19.

The Senate’s social affairs committee said the federal government needs to pay urgent attention to seniors in long-term care homes where outbreaks and deaths have been concentrated.

RELATED: Canada not ready for second wave of COVID-19 says senate committee

Dr. Buckner said while this second wave is a possibility, he believes Canada has what to takes to deal with it.

“We can make these little outbreaks more like moguls on a ski hill. We can find our way through them, keeping our schools and our economy going, our health care system up and running,” said Buckner who added immunization should also be top of mind for COVID-19 and other flu-related illnesses that surge in the fall.

Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Howard Njoo has said the transmission of the virus is under control across the country, with cases and deaths down steadily since the peak in April.

However, he too cautioned against a second wave saying the virus has not been eradicated as outbreaks continue to pop up in several provinces.
As of Friday, over 107,000 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Canada with over 8,700 deaths and nearly 71,000 recoveries.