Omicron wave of COVID-19 could be flattening on First Nations, says top doctor

2022-01-21 5:30:00 AM

Omicron wave of COVID-19 could be flattening on First Nations, says top doctor

Covıd-19 Canada, Pandemic

Omicron wave of COVID-19 could be flattening on First Nations, says top doctor

The top doctor for Indigenous Services Canada says he's cautiously optimistic the Omicron-driven wave of the pandemic may be flattening across First Nations.

As of last week the department reported nearly 85 per cent of people 12 and older living on First Nations have received both their doses of vaccine to protect against COVID-19.Wong says there are communities in every region with lower-than-anticipated vaccine uptake, and so far only 20 per cent of adults on reserve have been immunized with a third booster dose.

The department says there are currently roughly 5,000 active cases on First Nations.Wong says now is not the time for leaders to relax health rules brought in to blunt the spread of COVID-19 because the Omicron variant is highly contagious."There is light at the end of the tunnel -- but not now," he said during a briefing Thursday.

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Tom Wong, the department's chief public health officer, says for this to happen nationally, communities need to maintain their health measures. As of last week the department reported nearly 85 per cent of people 12 and older living on First Nations have received both their doses of vaccine to protect against COVID-19.” The Omicron-fuelled fifth wave of the pandemic appears to be peaking in some provinces, while others warn the worst is yet to come. Wong says there are communities in every region with lower-than-anticipated vaccine uptake, and so far only 20 per cent of adults on reserve have been immunized with a third booster dose. The interest comes amid a series of forestry management disputes . The department says there are currently roughly 5,000 active cases on First Nations. It also saw a slight decline in intensive care patients. Wong says now is not the time for leaders to relax health rules brought in to blunt the spread of COVID-19 because the Omicron variant is highly contagious. A provincial government media release issued Tuesday announced a shipment of Paxlovid is expected to arrive this week in the province.

"There is light at the end of the tunnel -- but not now," he said during a briefing Thursday. Article content Meanwhile, Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott said there are “glimmers of hope” that COVID-19 cases will peak this month with hospitalization and intensive care admissions to follow. First Nations are demanding the provincial government give them more control over land-use decisions when it comes to forests on their territories. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2022. Fifty-nine new deaths were also reported. RELATED IMAGES . That’s one of the motivations behind a plan by eight communities represented by the Secwepemcúl’ecw Restoration and Stewardship Society (SRSS) to explore opportunities to benefit from carbon offsets on traditional lands.