Canadian Medical Association issues ‘urgent’ call for unprecedented measures to fight pandemic

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) has issued a plea for a number of “unprecedented” measures to address rising COVID-19 numbers in many provinces across the country.

In a news release issued Friday, the CMA said it wants to see a marshalling of national resources, national collaboration between provinces and territories, and more restrictive public health measures.

“The CMA is calling for province-to-province collaboration and national leadership to address the scale and severity of the pandemic. Specifically, the CMA is recommending deployment of resources where they are most needed to save the most lives,” the release reads.

“Any measures taken now will take time to have an impact given the lag from exposure to disease — we must act now.”

The CMA also wants the federal government to change vaccine distribution to focus on areas where vaccines are more urgently needed, and said that paid sick leave “is urgently required.”

“We act as one country when crisis hits with wildfires, floods and other tragedies. This pandemic has reached a new level that requires a national response,” Dr. Ann Collins, CMA president, said in the release. “We must do everything needed to avoid making unbearable choices as to who lives if resources are not available.” 

Experts in a number of provinces have warned that COVID-19 case numbers could continue to climb unless further public health measures are imposed, including in British Columbia and Ontario

The CMA also called on provinces that have lower rates of COVID-19 transmission than Ontario and Quebec to bring stricter public health measures into place. It said those provinces need to do this to ensure they have the ability to support others.

“These are strong measures, but they are absolutely needed,” Collins said. “We are one country, and it’s time we started acting as one by deploying resources where they are most needed. If we can’t achieve this through voluntary co-operation, then more and stronger measures might be needed.”  

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