Sask. health minister defends move to weekly reporting under opposition scrutiny – Global News

Sask. health minister defends move to weekly reporting under opposition scrutiny – Global News

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The provincial government’s move to weekly COVID-19 data reporting took centre stage in the legislature Tuesday, a month after the government announced the change.
NDP health critic Vicki Mowat kicked off her question period time asking Health Minister Paul Merriman for an up-to-date count on the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and ICU admissions, as well as the number of people who had passed away in the previous 24 hours.
In response, Merriman said that even he no longer receives such information daily, prompting renewed criticism on the transparency of the data-sharing decision that boiled over question period and into rotunda scrums.
“If this is not a political decision, if there is nothing to hide, there should be no problem releasing the full set of recommendations that have been provided there,” Mowat told reporters Tuesday.
“There are serious concerns about how people are supposed to make their own individual choices without being educated.”
Read more: N.S. says rapid testing should continue as they ease COVID-19 restrictions
Merriman, meanwhile, responded that he’s “said it publicly multiple times. Dr. Shahab has provided a recommendation that we move to a weekly report. That’s what we’ve done.”
He added that other provinces, such as B.C. and Nova Scotia, have also announced intentions to move to weekly reporting.
He defended the government’s overall pandemic strategy by referencing the disease prevention and mitigation “tools” at Saskatchewan residents’ disposal, including that “over 18 million” rapid tests have been distributed form over 630 locations, and that early intervention treatments such as Paxlovid have also been made accessible.
“That’s what I’m saying is the onus is on you. The responsibility is on the individual and as government, we’ve provided all of the information on a weekly basis, and other provinces are moving in this direction, and we provide the tools for people to be able to maintain their safety.”
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