We are assured by our Canadian government that the coronavirus situation is being monitored, however this is not the time for empty platitudes. I fear our leaders do not know the critical importance of acting in a timely manner but would rather collect information and discuss it on Friday.
Here is the latest serious admonition by health authorities regarding the coronavirus:
- The Canadian Health System has no give because hospital beds are at full capacity.
- It takes 20-37 days to shed the virus so it may still spread during that time.
- Hospitals are experiencing a shortage of protective equipment for staff.
- Laboratory tests are taking too long and increasing risk. Testing capacity is too limited.
- Infected patients must be kept separate from other patients in hospitals so they cannot use regular beds. Isolated spaces must be created with dedicated staff.
- Ventilators are critical for serious cases. Hospital stays for serious cases are approximately four weeks, with two weeks on a ventilator.
It doesn’t take much to imagine how quickly the situation could become unmanageable. This is the advice we are being given on what to do NOW:
With virtually zero spare bed capacity, Fisman, of the U of Toronto, said planners should prepare now for makeshift hospitals. There should be designated hospitals for coronavirus patients and registries of healthcare workers who have had the virus and recovered who can now work safely with patients.
Right now is the time to act on improving testing, creating isolated spaces, and procuring medical supplies and equipment for patients and staff.
We will need to determine when it is time to move from modest public health control efforts such as testing and isolating to more aggressive measures including social distancing or quarantine. In B.C. two schools have been exposed to persons with the coronavirus. We must take first measures and provide a place where infected persons can be treated without risk to others.