‘We don’t have the staff’: Juni says Ontario can’t ramp up to 3,000 ICU beds

The head of Ontario’s COVID-19 science table says he’s “very uneasy” about the rising number of COVID-19 cases, and pushed back against Premier Doug Ford’s assertion that the province can ramp up to 3,000 ICU beds if needed.

“There is no way we could ramp up to 3,000 ICU beds,” Dr. Peter Juni, director of the Ontario COVID-19 Science Table, told CTV News Channel on Wednesday. “We don’t have the staff.”

Juni warned that the surgical backlog in the province could grow as hospitals are once again being forced to cancel surgeries because “they are not able to deal with what’s coming in already.”

“We are probably already having the highest number of daily infections ever in the pandemic.”

Juni says he agrees with the Ford government’s prediction that less people will end up hospitalized with COVID-19 in the sixth wave, because of the “wall of immunity” built up in the province.

However, according to the head of the science table, approximately “one in 20 Ontarians” currently have an active COVID-19 infection.

Juni warns the rise in infections could also cause a staffing shortage in Ontario’s hospitals that will become “more pronounced” if cases skyrocket in the community.

“There’s this little wrinkle that people tend to forget… staff is also knocked out by COVID.”

Watch the interview by clicking on the video at the top of this article.

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