Time for a more balanced approach, say Ontario doctors concerned with restrictions

Dr. Robert Sargeant Toronto Sun | James Alexander Michie

Dr. Robert Sargeant, outside of St. Michael's Hospital on Tuesday October 20, 2020. PHOTO BY VERONICA HENRI /Veronica Henri/Toronto Sun

Several Ontario doctors are speaking out to call for a more balanced approach to managing the pandemic, now that more potentially harmful restrictions are being introduced during the second wave of COVID-19.

“We’ve already seen the impact of lockdowns on people’s lives,” says Dr. Neil Rau. “Everybody came to an agreement that we would seek a balanced approach. But now we are falling back.”

Rau, an infectious diseases specialist and assistant professor at the University of Toronto, also laments that some doctors and public health officials are now advocating for an approach known as “COVID zero”, where more aggressive measures are introduced to entirely eliminate the virus.

“The COVID suppression view is becoming a marginalized view,” he says, observing that fewer of his colleagues are adopting this perspective. “Once you have an endemic level of COVID, the economic fallout and carnage [of much larger lockdowns] would be so great that it’s not worth it.”

Instead, Rau urges government to throw more resources at the health care system, create capacity and build more field hospitals — such as the one created in Halton Region that’s able to accommodate dozens of new patients.

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Source: Anthony Furey | Toronto Sun

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