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'Extraordinary' measures, provincial collaboration needed to fight COVID crisis: CMA

A woman wearing a protective face mask walks past St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto on Jan. 11, 2021, amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Rachel Verbin THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Rachel Verbin

The Canadian Medical Association is calling for “extraordinary” measures, including sharing provincial health-care resources and dropping the per-capita approach to vaccine distribution, to address the COVID-19 crisis unfolding in several provinces.

The CMA says it wants the federal government to consider re-prioritizing its vaccine distribution strategy to focus on urgent areas instead of distributing to provinces on a per-capita basis.

The organization also says provinces should be sharing its health-care resources with areas that are especially hard-hit, including Ontario and Quebec where ICU capacity is overwhelmed.

Dr. Ann Collins, president of the CMA, says Canada is at a “critical juncture” of the pandemic, adding a “truly national approach” is needed to combat rising COVID activity in parts of the country.

The CMA says further restrictions “must also be considered” in provinces experiencing rapid rates of COVID-19 transmission.

Ontario was expected to announce new measures later Friday.