SK seems ‘worryingly unprepared’ for pandemic, says expert

SK seems ‘worryingly unprepared’ for pandemic, says expert

Postby Oscar » Tue Mar 24, 2020 11:07 am

Saskatchewan government failed to order key equipment and supplies until after COVID-19 arrived

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Province seems ‘worryingly unprepared’ for pandemic, says expert

Geoff Leo · CBC News · Posted: Mar 23, 2020 3:13 PM CT | Last Updated: March 23

A review of Premier Scott Moe and his colleagues' actions and statements over the past two weeks raises questions as to whether the provincial government took the threat of COVID-19 seriously enough, soon enough.

Miles Fahlman, a Saskatchewan-based medical anthropologist who spent five years studying the first SARS virus for his master's thesis, reviewed the Saskatchewan politicians' public actions and words from March 9, 2020, to present.

He said the review caused him to believe the provincial government is "worryingly unprepared" for the epidemic, in part because it seems the politicians allowed political considerations to cloud their vision.

The chronology reveals that the provincial government didn't order key equipment like ventilators, ICU beds and hospital beds until the disease arrived in the province.

"This style of response is dangerous and it can cost lives," he said.

'They're moving way too late'

Ventilators are key to keeping COVID-19 patients with severe infections alive. The machine breathes for the patient when they no longer can.

The province has 91 ventilators as of Monday, March 23.

In an email, the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) confirmed that on March 12, the same day the first COVID-19 cases was confirmed in Saskatchewan, the ministry of health approved an order for 50 more ventilators.

This is the classic unprepared scenario. You gotta move first. - Miles Fahlman, medical anthropologist

Fahlman said it's good the province finally placed that order but he said "they're moving way too late."

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