Canada, as pretty much every other Western country, hasn’t narrowed down a treatment for early onset COVID-19. TrialSite News has been extensively reporting on various research pipelines for a year now. It looks like some Canadians would like to start finally using more treatment interventions as the third wave, and new “variants of concern” are spreading across the country. Hospitals are now even preparing for the possibility that patient triaging may be necessary if ICUs get overwhelmed. There are already reports that in Canada, a country where healthcare is overseen by provinces, some hospitals with full ICUs beds have to transport patients to different facilities.
Such triage in one of the most developed countries in the world is certainly difficult for Canadians, and many are perhaps thinking about the images from overrun hospitals in Northern Italy that stunned the world last spring. The resurgence of the pandemic at such levels is scary.
For the government agencies and many ordinary Canadians, the obvious solution is to return to extensive lockdowns and to speed up vaccination efforts. Canada’s largest province – Ontario – has become the most locked-down area in North America but that hasn’t prevented the 3rd wave. Vaccination efforts in the country are also riddled with complications. While the AstraZeneca vaccine was originally reserved for those under 55 in Canada, the country recently suspended its use in this age group due to world-wide blood clotting concerns.
It appears that Canadians are starting to look for other solutions, and some experts may be coming to their side. TrialSiteNews recently spoke with Ondrej Halgas, a researcher at University of Toronto. Dr. Halgas is originally from Slovakia and has been actively promoting the use of early treatment, particularly with ivermectin. Back in January, we reported that this Central European country became the 1st in the EU to approve ivermectin for both prophylaxis and treatment of Covid-19. The news since then spread to the neighboring Czech Republic. Halgas recently provided us with an update but he also talked about the recent developments in Canada.
After TrialSite’s January report, Halgas was able to get in touch with federal Canadian Member of Parliament Dean Allison who has since then shown leadership and has engaged his parliamentary colleagues about the issue. Dr. Halgas even talked to MP Allison on his program. MP Allison has recently also backed an official parliamentary petition that urges for immediate adoption and availability of ivermectin in Canada as a Covid-19 treatment option.
The petition was initiated by a former pharmacology professor Kanji Nakatsu from Queen’s University and closes for signatures on April 24th. It is certainly very important to collect as many signatures as possible to increase its impact. Prof. Nakatsu is among a growing local group of concerned doctors, scientists and community activists that are coming together to give an official voice to early treatment and other science-based pandemic recommendations.
They are already well-connected to US experts and groups such as the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC). This is definitely needed as both the federal, as well as provincial governments, seem to be unwilling to solicit outside expert opinions.
Country’s institutions are slow to react to the newest scientific data and their responses to concerned citizens inquiring about ivermectin and other treatment options are evasive.
It’s therefore likely that as was the case in countries like South Africa, Zimbabwe, Slovakia, Macedonia, Czech Republic and others, push for early treatment’s acceptance in Canada will have to come from bottom up. As the aforementioned countries illustrate, it’s very much possible to impact policy when people, hopefully with the support of some experts, make enough noise.
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