A former top doctor in Manitoba testified as an expert witness in a case involving churches that have refused to follow public health requirements.
The former doctor, Joel Kettner, who is well known for his role in the H1N1 pandemic 12 years ago, noted that back then, he did not have access to all the information he needed the virus reached Manitoba and also added that the province lacked the capacity to undertake epidemiological surveillance.
While being cross-examined by the government’s advocate, Heather Leonoff, the doctor noted that there plenty to fatalities during a pandemic than just the casualty figures.
Monday marked the second day of defiance to public health orders. Seven community churches are in court seeking to have the judge declare that health restrictions are violating the Charter.
The doctor added that since there are many reasons why an individual would get very sick of succumbing to the virus, without a sound medical surveillance mechanism, it is easy for doctors and other health practitioners to be misled by existing superficial information.
He was quite hesitant when pressured by the government advocate to state that all pandemics are the same – difficult.
Cadham lab’s associate medical director, Dr. Jared Bullard, was first to be cross-examined by the applicant’s advocate, Jared Brown.
Much of the exchange involved PCR tests and the underlying science.
PCR tests are the gold standard for the Coronavirus test, but it has been established that they are not 100 percent accurate, and on occasion can generate a false outcome. The way to combat this issue is by reporting cycle thresholds together with the outcome of a test. This is happening in Florida, but Manitoba hasn’t started it yet.
According to Dr. Ballard, CT isn’t reporting Cycle thresholds systematically. The CT tells the viral load in the sample initially.
The hearing will continue this Wednesday with closing arguments likely to take 2 days.