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Doctors group says changing rules causes confusion as COVID-19 variants surge

A health worker injects a doctor with a dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi, Vietnam Monday, March 8, 2021. Vietnam has started the vaccination campaign with a hope to inoculate half of the population of 96 millions against COVID-19 by the end of the year. (AP Photo/Hau Dinh)

As Ontario brings back stay-at-home orders to deal with surging cases of COVID-19, the Canadian Medical Association says continually changing rules have contributed to confusion and relaxed adherence.

The national advocacy group representing Canada’s doctors said constant changes to restrictions have left people frustrated and are detrimental to its purpose.

“It’s time to apply what we know and address these new variants with the same aggressiveness they are displaying,” Dr. Ann Collins, the group’s president, said in a news release Thursday.

“Facing the new variants requires a new and coordinated approach to regain control.”

Ontario reported 3,295 new cases of the novel coronavirus and 19 more deaths as the new restrictions took effect today.

To deal with the spread of variants of concern, the province declared its third state of emergency since the start of the pandemic.

Dr. Howard Njoo, the national deputy chief public health officer, said Canada is in a tight race between getting out vaccines and the spread of variants of concern but he added that vaccinations are just one part of response.

Public health measures, such as restrictions, are important, he said, especially in areas where variants are spreading.

More than seven million vaccine doses have now been administered and the amount arriving in the country is expected to significantly increase each month.

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