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Thousands sign letter calling for stricter measures to reach 'Zero COVID'

Last Updated Apr 19, 2021 at 11:24 am MDT

CALGARY (CityNews) – Around 6,000 people from across Canada have signed an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asking for immediate steps to achieve what they’re calling “Zero COVID”.

“There should be a uniform approach across Canada towards restrictions and lockdown,” said Dr.Gosia Gasperowicz with the University of Calgary.

Gasperowicz and other researchers say the first step toward achieving zero COVID is a change in narrative.

“So there is an important need to shift our narrative to saying that infection is not okay,” said Dr. Tehseen Ladha with the University of Alberta. “This is a preventable infection and it’s really important to acknowledge that each infection represents a person that has up to a 30 per cent chance of long-term symptoms and disability.”

WATCH: Chasing zero COVID

This national group of researchers, physicians, educators, and concerned citizens says using hospital capacity as an indicator of COVID-19 is wrong and it’s demanding replication of the Atlantic Canada model in order to eliminate COVID-19 from the country, once and for all.

“We want inter-provincial travel restrictions, mandatory quarantine for everyone coming from outside the province, basically repeating exactly the recipe that Atlantic Canada used, throughout the whole pandemic,” said Gasperowicz.

“So first strict lockdown, strongest possible, financially supported, temporary for a couple of weeks, until the cases are down. so the stronger and more no-nonsense it is, the faster one can get to zero COVID cases.”

These researchers say once we achieve zero community cases, a region with well-managed borders can loosen restrictions and return to relative normalcy.