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'What is wrong with you,' asks premier of 'selfish few' breaking rules

'It's not like COVID from a year ago, it's almost a new virus,' added Dr. Robert Strang
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Premier Iain Rankin at a COVID-19 briefing on Friday, March 19

Nova Scotia's premier says it's "outrageous" so many people were ticketed for violating COVID-19 protocols over the weekend.

Nova Scotia is currently in the midst of a two-week province-wide lockdown and for the most part, social gatherings are limited to those who live in your household.

As case counts soared to record levels, Halifax Regional Police fined 37 people for breaking the rules. In addition, two men from the HRM were charged at a property in Queens County for non-essential travel outside the municipality.

"What is wrong with you," asked Premier Iain Rankin at a Monday briefing. "How come you don't take this as seriously as you should?"

He said this third wave of COVID-19 is vastly different than the first two as it mostly involves the B.1.1.7 variant, which first emerged in the U.K. 

"That's the variant you may take home and risk infecting your loved ones with, then go to work and infect your co-workers," Rankin said. "What part of that pattern of spread do you not understand? The only answer I can come up with is that you don't care."

"We are in the third wave of a deadly pandemic and the selfish few don't care."

The province announced 146 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, and we currently have a total of 943 active cases.

In the daily news release, the province reported 40 people were in hospital with six in the ICU, however those numbers have already risen to 42 in hospital and eight in the ICU as of the 3 p.m. start of the briefing.

Rankin said the demographic of those with serious infections is much different this time around compared to the previous waves of the virus.

"Younger people who are otherwise very healthy are being admitted this time, and they are much sicker than the first wave," explained the premier.

"Imagine not having the energy to walk and talk. Imagine not being able to get out of the bed or lift your head off the pillow. Imagine not being able to breathe on your own without a ventilator. Now stop imagining. This is what some patients infected by the variants are experiencing at this very moment."

The province's chief medical officer of health is also disappointed.

Dr. Robert Strang said the restrictions are in place for one simple reason, they are necessary to keep Nova Scotians safe from the widespread COVID-19 activity currently happening in the Halifax area.

"We are not anywhere close to being out of the woods. These measures are absolutely necessary to get us to the other side of this outbreak with as little impact as possible on the health and safety of Nova Scotians," Strang said.

"This virus can be deadly. It's not like COVID from a year ago, it's almost a new virus ... following the restrictions will save lives in your community and will protect health care and other essential workers who are putting their health at risk for you."


Meghan Groff

About the Author: Meghan Groff

Born in Michigan, raised in Ontario, schooled in Indiana and lives in Nova Scotia; Meghan is the editor for CityNews Halifax.
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