SASKATOON -- A day after Saskatchewan's first presumptive case of COVID-19 was announced, the province's opposition leader called on health officials to take further measures in order to "get ahead" of the pandemic.

"The biggest goal that we have is to do what's called 'flattening the curve.' If we have an initial spike, a large number of cases coming into the health care system that can result in overwhelming of the health care system and higher mortality and higher morbidity," NDP leader Ryan Meili said during a news conference on Friday.

Meili pointed to several specific measures he believes the provincial government should take, including a public inventory of "key equipment" that would be needed in the event of a widespread outbreak of the illness such as ventilators, oxygen machines and swabs used for testing.

Meili said either the immediate repair and expansion of the province's 811 health information phone line or a clear alternative is needed

The service was overwhelmed Thursday, with many callers unable to get assistance.

Meili, who is also a family physician, called for expanded testing, protection and treatment to high-risk populations and suggested drive-thru and home testing as seen in Alberta.

While the province may not reduce the number of cases, the longer they take to emerge in the population, the less likely the health care system will be overwhelmed, said Meili, who is also a family doctor.

"We're in a very good position to act quickly, we are still at the beginning of this and is our opportunity to get ahead of the coronavirus epidemic in our province."