Is the Manitoba government deliberately underreporting COVID cases in the downtown area?

The type of bar graph the Man. government uses to show numbers of COVID cases
By BERNIE BELLAN

I’ve been keeping track of the number of new COVID cases that the Manitoba government has been reporting on the website where it provides information on COVID: https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/updates/cases.html

 

I’ve been focusing on new cases in three areas of the Winnipeg Health Region: Downtown, River Heights, and Assiniboine South.

Here are the figures given for the total numbers of active cases in each of those areas on the bar graph the government uses to report figures for the last 4 reporting days:

                                 Assiniboine South              River Heights               Downtown

Nov. 22                     149                                   297                              1000

Nov. 24                     159                                   309                              1100

Nov. 25                     165                                   313                              1100

Nov. 26                     170                                   317                              1107

Nov. 27                     170                                   321                              1108

Now, I would suggest there are several things that are suspicious about the figures.

For one , while Assiniboine South and River Heights give figures that would seem to be precise and have been increasing - but not at too high a rate, the fiigures for Downtown have remained quite static for the past four days.

My point in writing this, as I noted in my editorial in the print edition of The Jewish Post & News, is that COVID is not hitting all areas of the city with equal ferocity. I referred to the situation in New York City where that city has set up three different zones: A red zone, a buffer zone, and a yellow zone. There are different levels of restriction in each area, with the point that some businesses and other activities are allowed to carry on in some areas, but not in others.

I ask the question in my editorial why a similar approach can’t be applied in Winnipeg?

I have also tried to find out how, as a member of the media, I might be allowed to participate in the online press briefings that Dr. Roussin has been holding on a regular basis, so that I might ask some questions that take a different perspective from what other reporters have been asking. To date I have not received any response to my request to participate in those sessions.

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