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Canadian doctors call for more collaborative response to COVID-19 pandemic

Last Updated Jan 25, 2021 at 7:53 am MDT

Nurses collect samples from a patient in a COVID suspect room in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul's hospital in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

The Canadian Medical Association is calling for governments to work more collaboratively to deal with the pandemic

CMA says Canada needs swift and sustained response in order to deal with ongoing COVID-19 cases

Provinces, federal government need to collaborate to deliver long-range plan instead of focusing on short-term, CMA says

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – As we mark one year since COVID-19 was first reported in Canada, doctors across the country are calling for a clear and focused plan for the future.

Calling this a national tragedy, the head of the Canadian Medical Association wants to see a swift and sustained response to the coronavirus pandemic, which has wreaked havoc on the physical, mental, social, and economic wellbeing of people across the country and the world.

“The virus continues to test us,” says Dr. Ann Collins, president of the Canadian Medical Association. “On average, our hospitals are dealing with almost 4,800 COVID-19 patients and we are seeing 141 daily deaths. We are in the midst of a national tragedy.”

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Hospitals have been overwhelmed in many parts of the country due to the number of COVID-19 patients. Public health officials have made repeated pleas to the public to follow best practices and to do their part to limit the spread of the virus.

She stresses the importance of ensuring the vaccine rollout gets back on track, saying Canada needs to secure its vaccine supply and “guarantee a consistent delivery schedule.”

Collins’ comments come after Pfizer reported there would be a delay in deliveries due to upgrades being made in its production facility. As a result, Canada will not receive its shipment of doses this week, with that delivery being deferred.

In addition to fine tuning vaccine plans, Collins says provincial and federal governments need to collaborate in delivering a clear, longer-range plan instead of focusing on short-term strategies that shift from lockdown to lockdown.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is hitting us hard right now,” adds Collins. “And unfortunately, we will undoubtedly face more challenges in the coming months. The vaccine, however, has given us hope that our country could be vastly different six months from now. If we remain vigilant and if we plan more effectively, Canada may have something to celebrate on July 1 this year. Together, let us make sure that this is the year we defeat COVID-19.”

The CMA says it’s also imperative to contain existing COVID-19 cases by redoubling our efforts in effective testing, contact tracing, and isolation.

Canada has recorded more than 700,000 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began. More than 19,000 people have lost their lives because of the virus in this country in that time.