Manitoba First Nations disproportionately hit by spiking coronavirus cases: IPAC

Manitoba First Nations disproportionately hit by spiking coronavirus cases: IPAC

The physician director of Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada warns First Nations are being disproportionately harder hit by spiking rates of COVID-19 in Manitoba and says governments need to work with Indigenous leaders to fix issues leaving communities at higher risk.

Dr. Mandy Buss says while Indigenous people make up about 10 per cent of Manitoba’s population, they’ve been making up nearly 20 per cent of the province’s daily case counts.

Read more: Manitoba Indigenous leaders call on province to step up COVID-19 response efforts

“We’re seeing high numbers in the ICU here in the province — some days it’s been up to 68 per cent of the ICU admissions,” Buss told Global News Morning Winnipeg Friday.

“That’s concerning because that’s a huge number compared to the population representation.”

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1:33 COVID-19 cases spike on Manitoba First Nations; chiefs call for prompt action
COVID-19 cases spike on Manitoba First Nations; chiefs call for prompt action – Nov 3, 2020

As Manitoba health officials announced 438 new cases province-wide Friday, data from the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs showed 82 were Indigenous.

The AMC said 16 of the 43 people currently in ICU with the virus are First Nations, and in all 69 Indigenous people are hospitalized with COVID-19.

Buss says there are a number of factors that leave First Nation communities both more susceptible to COVID-19, and at higher risk for severe outcomes.

“We can’t deny the impacts colonization has had on Indigenous people, both historically and contemporary.”…

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