Response to virus outbreak to affect surgeries in Manitoba

By | March 20, 2020

WINNIPEG — Elective surgeries will be suspended next week, and pharmacies will be placing limits on prescription refills, the province announced Friday morning

Dr. Brent Roussin, the province’s Chief Public Health Officer, said the number of cases of COVID-19 remains at 17, unchanged from Thursday.

Roussin says all but one case in the province has been linked to travel. Roussin adds more information on the one case is needed before he can call it community transmission.

The suspension of elective surgeries comes into effect Monday, and is to ensure “staff, beds, equipment, and supplies remain available and flexible for COVID-19 response,” the province says.

Scheduled surgeries will continue for cancer, trauma and other surgeries that cannot be delayed. Time-sensitive orthopedic, obstetrical, gynecology and ophthalmology surgeries will also continue, according to the province.

Prescription renewals will now be limited to 30 days to ensure people don’t stockpile medicine.

For the next four weeks, CancerCare Manitoba will combine two cancer clinics. Cancer clinic services currently offered at Seven Oaks General Hospital will now be delivered out of the Victoria General Hospital Cancer Clinic.

An estimated 2,400 calls to Health Links were made Thursday, and additional resources, including more phone lines, have been added to assist with wait times. The province says a voice recording will be added to help pre-screen patients.

The 10th COVID-19 screening site opened in Steinbach at 365 Reimer Ave. The site is a drive-thru testing site.

Patients will need to call Health Links at 204-788-8200 or toll-free at 1-888-315-9257 to get referred to a testing site.

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