The province reported Sunday there has been no change in the number of COVID-19 cases in Manitoba, as doctors urged patients to continue to seek care for non-virus-related issues.

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The province reported Sunday there has been no change in the number of COVID-19 cases in Manitoba, as doctors urged patients to continue to seek care for non-virus-related issues.

The number of COVID-19 cases remains at 253, which was unchanged from Saturday.

Eight people are in hospital, including five in intensive care. There are 105 active cases and 143 people have recovered from the virus. Five people have died.

The province said 570 tests had been performed at Cadham Provincial Lab on Saturday, raising the numer of tests conducted since early February to 19,752.

Testing criteria has been expanded to include symptomatic workers or volunteers at workplaces that have been identified as essential services; and anyone who is symptomatic who lives with a health care worker, first responder or workers in a congregate setting, such as a jail, shelter or long term care facility.

Doctors concerned

Manitoba doctors say they’re concerned about a drop in the number of patients who seek help for other ailments, and they fear people are putting their health on hold during the pandemic.

"A lot of people think because of COVID-19, doctors are too busy to help with other medical concerns," said Dr. Fourie Smith, a Winnipeg family physician and president of Doctors Manitoba.

"That’s not the case. Doctors are not only available, they’re ready to help, in new ways. Just call your doctor’s office first to see how they can best help you."

Doctors Manitoba recently surveyed more than 700 physicians and almost all of them reported a "concerning drop" in the number of people who are staying home and fail to consult a doctor about other medical problems.

The group says it’s important for doctors to monitor chronic diseases and address new health concerns.

Many physicians use phone or video appointments. If an in-person visit is needed, clinics are screening patients, regularly disinfecting common spaces and adhering to physical distancing measures.

"Your doctor can help you decide if you should seek care now, or wait," Smith said.