Canadian News Apr 13, 2021 2:56 PM EST

Ontario health minister says province will free up to 1,000 ICU beds by delaying surgeries

Minister Elliott described such cancellations as "unfortunate, but sadly necessary right now."

Ontario health minister says province will free up to 1,000 ICU beds by delaying surgeries
Noah David Alter Toronto
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Ontario will be adding hundreds of intensive care unit (ICU) beds as the province experiences rising hospitalizations related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, CP24 reports.

Provincial Health Minister Christine Elliott announced in a press conference on Monday that the province would be seeking to expand hospital capacities as new daily cases across the province reaches record levels.

Elliott said that one strategy hospitals will employ will involve ramping down non-essential surgeries, with Elliott saying that the only surgeries which will not be affected will be "the ones that are absolutely life-and-death matters."

She described such cancellations as "unfortunate, but sadly necessary right now."

According to Elliott, between 700 and 1,000 ICU beds will be created under this plan. 612 Ontarians are currently in ICUs.

The announcement comes as the province continues to make slow but steady progress in vaccinating Ontario's adult population. Roughly 40 percent of the province's adults have received at least one dose of the vaccine, although a significantly smaller amount have received the required two doses.

Ontario reported 4,401 new cases of coronavirus on Monday, with new cases declining on Tuesday's report.

The provincial government has reintroduced province-wide lockdown measures to help combat the spread of coronavirus.

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