Non-partisan health professionals hold alternate health briefing

Pandemic strategy shift?

The province of British Columbia will have an alternative source of COVID-19 information starting today.

Dr. Karina Zeidler and a group of B.C. physicians and infectious disease experts have formed a group similiar to one in Alberta called Protect Our Province BC.

CTV News Vancouver is reporting that POP BC says its members include scientists, policy analysts and community organizers. They are holding their first briefing on B.C.'s COVID-19 response Wednesday.

The group cites a lack of transparency and a "worrisome lack of science-informed pandemic response" from healthcare officials in the province.

Group co-founder Dr. Zeidler, a family physician, says she wants to see the number of COVID-19 cases in the province decrease rapidly.

Zeidler points to a growing disconnect between science and the province's messaging, particularly the role of aerosol transmission in the spread of COVID-19.

CTV News Vancouver also spoke with Dr. Lyne Filiatrault, who played a significant role in preventing the spread of SARS in B.C. back in 2003.

Dr. Filiatrault laments what she calls a lack of a decisive approach to preventing the spread of COVID-19, and now that she is retired, she feels it's appropriate to share her thoughts. She has also joined POP BC.

“The only way we’re going to be successful is through a collective effort,” insisted Filiatraul. “Embracing all of the science, not just medicine but aerosol science, building engineers, sociology, behaviour sciences and the lived knowledge on the ground.”

Dr. Filiatrault says she understands the daunting task COVID-19 presents to health officials.

“I think we have to thank Bonnie Henry and thank Adrian Dix and other people in public health because this has been really a difficult situation that’s gone on for a long time,” said Filiatrault. “However, I think there needs to be a bit of reflection that if what we’re doing is not working, we need to change.”

-With files from CTV News Vancouver


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