Lambton MOH appeals to public to take pandemic seriously

Lambton Medical Officer of Health Dr. Sudit Ranade. November 7, 2013. (Photo from Lambton Public Health)

Lambton County’s Medical Officer of Health said Friday that there’s been limited local testing for COVID-19 partly due to a global shortage of testing equipment and kits.

Dr. Sudit Ranade told Sue Storr in an interview on CHOK radio (103.9 FM, 1070 AM) that there were still no confirmed cases in Lambton County as of 8:30 a.m. Friday, but they’re working on the premise that the virus is circulating locally given the positive cases in neighbouring communities.

He said they’ve tested about 50 people in Lambton.

“Partly a lot of people are going to have a mild infection and they just won’t go and get tested, they’ll think oh it’s just a cold we don’t need to get tested,” said Ranade. “The other side of it though, too is there’s just a global shortage of testing equipment and kits. So, we’re trying to get as many as we can, but the time it will take to do that when everybody in the country wants them is going to make it challenging for us to get all the people that we would like to test, tested.”

The Lambton Public Health website says “testing will be prioritized based on business continuity needs for essential service providers.”

Dr. Ranade said if people still aren’t taking the pandemic seriously, it’s time to start taking it seriously.

“If you’re coming back from another country you’re supposed to self-isolate. Stay at home, do not go to work, you can go out in your backyard but not really interact with other people. Social distancing is when you go about things that you need to do but you keep a two-metre distance between yourself and other people. If you’re going grocery shopping, try to keep enough distance between you and other people and try to limit your social interaction to essential contact,” he said.

Dr. Ranade also said everyone is susceptible to the infection, not just seniors or those with compromised immune systems.

“Right now we think that it’s a bit milder if you’re younger and don’t have other health conditions, but there’s some new data emerging, even in the U.S. there’s lots of cases in young people who end up being hospitalized with it. So the data on how this works and how this disease affects people is changing also very frequently.”

Visit LambtonPublicHealth.ca for the latest COVID-19 updates and instructions.