'We’re on a runaway train': Lockdown is the quickest way to curb Sask’s high COVID-19 cases, expert says
SASKATOON -- A lockdown would be the quickest way to reduce Saskatchewan’s high COVID-19 transmission rate, according to a biomedical professor.
Saskatchewan has the highest rate of active COVID-19 cases in the country, according to a Health Canada website tracking the numbers.
Kyle Anderson, a biomedical professor at the University of Saskatchewan, says it’s crucial people follow the COVID-19 protocols to curb the numbers.
If the rules aren’t being followed, Anderson said a lockdown would get the job done.
“It wouldn’t need to be a long-term thing. We know that three or four weeks is enough to really crunch the numbers,” Anderson said, referencing Manitoba’s situation.
“(Manitoba) had a higher rate than we did at the start of December, and right now they have half the case rate as Saskatchewan. It’s because they acted sooner. They acted more strictly, and they’re sort of reaping the benefits now.”
On Monday, the province saw one of the highest daily case spikes since the pandemic began. Health officials are blaming the climb on low testing over the holidays and people breaking the rules with Christmas gatherings.
As a result of January’s spike, Anderson expects to see an increase in deaths related to the virus in February.
“Sometimes we just need to say, ‘We need to stop this now, because we’re on a runaway train,’” Anderson told CTV News.
“We can prevent things from getting worse.”
Current COVID-19 restrictions will extend until the end of the month, Premier Scott Moe announced Tuesday.
Moe said he was confident with the current restrictions, but more could be added under advice of health officials.
“We did see, with these very set of measures, a lowering of the rate of transmission in December,” Moe told reporters.
“We’re hopeful we’ll see that same lowering in the couple weeks ahead.”