The World Forum - April 22nd, 2024

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Canadian military to provide COVID-19 support in Saskatchewan


Front-line workers battling the fourth wave of COVID-19 in Saskatchewan are about to get some much-needed help from the Canadian military.

In a tweet Friday night, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair stated the armed forces are on their way to the province to provide the necessary support to fight the pandemic.

Blair added discussions are also underway for additional Canadian Red Cross personnel to deploy to the province, which is suffering the worst weekly death rate in the country.

The move comes as Saskatchewan started shipping ICU patients to Ontario to help deal with packed intensive care units.

Leadership from Saskatchewan’s Provincial Emergency Operations Centre (PEOC) announced on Friday that “roughly” two to four COVID-19 patients are expected to be transferred to Ontario daily, starting next week.

So far, six intensive care unit patients have been transferred to Ontario hospitals and three more are scheduled to transfer between Friday and Sunday.

Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency president Marlo Pritchard said in a Friday briefing added these transfers are being made to reduce strain on the province’s health-care system.

As of Friday, there are 80 COVID-19 ICU patients in Saskatchewan hospitals.

Pritchard said the provincial emergency operations centre continues to hold meetings with the federal government, including Public Safety Canada. He said good progress has been made so far.

“I expect to have more information soon about having boots on the ground at some point next week,” Pritchard told reporters.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority said Friday it may soon activate the next stage of its triage plan due to the stress on the health-care system.