New Brunswick owes its success against the COVID-19 to a host of factors, but the effectiveness of its screening, has played for a lot, writes a microbiologist-infectiologist.
Dr. Gabriel Girouard, works at the Centre hospitalier universitaire Dr-Georges-L.-Dumont, Moncton. The Newspaper asked him what was the secret of the maritime province. Because with only 120 cases of the disease and no deaths, New Brunswick is the envy of several in the country.
The way in which the province has completed its tests has been crucial according to him. “This is a very important point. Quickly, we put in place the availability of tests in clinics throughout the territory.”
New Brunswick also has a centralised laboratory of virology. “The findings were made in a single place. It allowed to perform diagnostic tests in a very efficient manner”, in 24 hours. At this time, between 300 and 400 tests are performed per day. It was sometimes performed 700. “It seems little compared to Quebec, but to the people of New Brunswick, is a lot.”
It has also been “very vigilant” in the tracing. Thus, light transmission of the community has taken place on the territory.
“In New Brunswick, we were really very lucky. One is pardoned. There has been an outbreak in a home [for the elderly].”
Also, several initiatives have been undertaken very early. Dr. Girouard cites early closure of schools, quarantine measures severe for the passengers.
The small size of the province and its small population have also played into the equation, he notes.
Moreover, after having made headlines with his choice to allow the hydroxychloroquine, the province made back in April. Dr. Girouard says that the negative studies that came to the surface, the warnings from Health Canada, professional associations, and the scholarly community have made sure that it was “difficult to justify the approach”.
“We don’t have good data. But also, the debate is politicized,” he laments, in reference to Donald Trump, who boasted the product. It is now waiting anxiously for the results of major clinical research on this drug.