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‘We’re going to a bad place’: Alberta’s COVID-19 strategy not measuring up

Last Updated Apr 24, 2021 at 8:16 pm MDT

CALGARY (CityNews) — The pandemic is at one of its worst points in Alberta.

As the province records high case counts day after day, Albertans may look at places worse off and breathe a small sigh of relief. But there is still reason to be concerned.

As Hakique Virani, a professor at the University of Alberta pointed out on Twitter, if Alberta had India’s population, we would be recording hundreds of thousands of more cases.

However, emergency care physician, Dr. Joe Vipond says, with so many differences, he would be very careful about comparing Alberta’s numbers to India. Instead, he points to another province.

“Ontario is the same kind of healthcare system that we have, they’re further along down the curve, they may have a slightly older demographic which is putting them at higher risk but we are no different than them,” said Vipond.

READ MORE: Further restrictions not out of the question as COVID-19 cases soar: Shandro

“Even though we have an excellent healthcare system it will be tried in this wave especially if we continue to refuse to put in the appropriate mitigation measures.”

And, he expects ICU rates in Alberta to continue rising.

“When the last set of restrictions were announced it was 112, and after those restrictions were announced, real restrictions, not like the half measures that we have in place now, it still was another three weeks before the ICU’s peaked at 151 cases on December 28.”

READ MORE: Alberta identifies 1,690 COVID-19 cases, five additional deaths

He says while the direct comparison to India isn’t going to give the most concise perspective, it does paint a picture of what we are hoping to avoid.

“We just don’t want to be India,” he said. “We don’t want to be Ontario, and all indications right now point that we’re going to a bad place.”