Treaty 1 Territory, Métis Homeland, Winnipeg, MB - Manitoba Liberals say the PC Government needs to call an urgent review by medical experts to compare the Covid responses of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, and determine why Manitoba has nearly twice the number of Covid deaths despite having fewer cases.
The two prairie provinces both have Conservative governments, are similar in size, population and demographics, and have had almost the same number of confirmed Covid cases.
According to CTV today, Saskatchewan has detected 43,926 cases of Covid-19, with Manitoba gaining fast at 43,700.
However, in a week that Manitoba passed a grim milestone of over 1,000 deaths, Saskatchewan has had just over half of Manitoba's toll at 513 deaths.
Manitoba Liberals say the PCs need to appoint a team of independent medical researchers to look at the question immediately.
"We have two provinces, with similar populations, and a very different outcome in terms of Covid-19 deaths. Clearly, Manitoba has something to learn from Saskatchewan, and we better learn it fast," said Dougald Lamont, MLA for St. Boniface and Leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party. "
According to CIHI, Manitoba had the worst second wave death rate in long term care of any province in Canada.
Dr. Jon Gerrard, Manitoba Liberal Health Critic, said the PCs should have had a team of researchers working alongside the pandemic, analyzing data and seeing what was working and what wasn't in Manitoba compared to other jurisdictions. Before entering politics, Gerrard was a medical researcher and taught medicine at the University of Manitoba.
Gerrard filed two freedom of information (FIPPA) requests to ask who was on the Manitoba's Research Advisory committee, and to see what research was being done as part of Manitoba's pandemic response. Both requests were returned "no records found."
"There are many researchers and doctors in Manitoba who could be contributing to this effort, because learning what Saskatchewan did right could help guide Manitoba as we navigate the third wave," said Gerrard. "This should be standard practice in a pandemic, and it looks like the PCs have dropped the ball again."