The Pallister PC Government has lost precious time waiting to introduce new measures to protect against a more infectious new strain of Covid-19.
Manitoba's new travel restrictions kick in this Friday, January 29th, two weeks after Manitoba Liberals called on January 15 for measures to prevent the new variants from getting to Manitoba and for enhancing testing to monitor the situation in our province.
Manitoba Liberals say detecting the much more infectious UK and South African variants of Covid-19 is key to preventing a third wave and more lockdowns in Manitoba.
Dr. Jon Gerrard, Manitoba Liberal Health Critic and MLA for River Heights said Manitoba Public Health should:
Do extra testing for variants when people test positive for Covid-19, especially on all individuals who have been recently in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta.
Implement testing of travellers at airports and provincial weigh stations for truckers who have been in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta.
Add variant testing to the dashboard so Manitobans know how many samples have been tested for the variants and any variants which have been found in our province.
Impose extra vigilance and strictness with regard to the quarantine and isolation of any individuals with a variant form of COVID-19 and all their contacts, and extra enforcement to ensure such measures are followed.
“The Covid-19 variant is in Canada, in Alberta, Ontario and British Columbia, and we need extra testing in place now to catch it if it gets to Manitoba,” said Gerrard.
Brian Pallister made two unconfirmed claims in a press conference today that the new strains are vaccine-resistant and more deadly but when asked about the extra testing required to detect the new variant, Dr. Atwal said the province was only in “discussions.”
“Once again, the left hand doesn’t seem to know what the far-right hand is doing,” said Dougald Lamont, Manitoba Liberal Leader and MLA for St. Boniface. “The threat is real, primarily because the variants are transmitted more easily and are therefore more dangerous.”