Two Sask. First Nations on lockdown or banning travel to prevent spread of COVID-19 – CBC

Indigenous communities are more vulnerable to virus, says Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation Chief

Mar 23, 2020

Two First Nations in Saskatchewan are taking their own measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in their communities.

Pelican Narrows, which is part of Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation, enacted a lockdown on March 21, in effect until further notice. Highway Hotline says travel is banned to Fond Du Lac Denesuline Nation starting March 20. You can travel through but cannot stop or access services.

Peter Ballantyne Chief Peter Beatty said it’s a proactive move on the part of council.

“We’re highly aware of what might happen if a case were to enter there without our knowledge or if the reaction time was too slow and it was spread through the community. It could have devastating impacts,” Beatty said.

Beatty said Indigenous communities are more vulnerable to an outbreak due to overcrowding, weak health infrastructure and running water issues on reserve.

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