Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical Officer of Health broke down in tears amid a COVID-19 modeling presentation during a teleconference Wednesday.
Dr Saqib Shahab cried as he reflected on the overcrowded hospitals and intensive care units across the province.
“It’s sad to see what’s going on in our intensive care units and our hospitals and I’m sorry,” he said at a press conference by phone. “It’s a very difficult time.
At its current rate, Saskatchewan’s intensive care units will not return to sustainable levels for several months unless new public health orders are issued, Shahab said. Based on modeling, the province could see the number of intensive care units surpass 250 in the first few months of the new year if things continue as they are.
According to data, unvaccinated people are 28 times more likely to enter intensive care.
“I have no shame in pleading with the public that we have come this far and that we just need to keep going for the weeks or months to come. ” he said.
More than 275 wards, including all elective surgeries, have been cut to free healthcare workers to treat COVID-19 patients in the province’s latest wave. Shahab has previously said that services are unlikely to continue unless the intensive care number becomes sustainable.
Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe apologized to people deprived of health care on CBC’s The Morning Edition radio show Tuesday.
Saskatchewan has asked other provinces, the federal government and several states in the United States for intensive care personnel to support their hospitals.
On Monday, health officials said six intensive care patients from Saskatchewan were being sent to Ontario for treatment. As of Tuesday, a total of three patients have been referred for out-of-province care.
In its last update Wednesday, Saskatchewan counted 246 new cases and five new deaths. 323 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, including 82 in intensive care.
– With files from The Canadian Press