Niagara's top doctor says shutdown could have been avoided, blames aggressive re-opening

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Niagara's top doctor is criticizing the provincial government as Ontario is in another 'shutdown.'

Acting Medical Officer of Health Dr. Mustafa Hirji accuses the government of moving too quickly out of the last lockdown.

"They weren't patient enough to let the shutdown go for the full length it needed to go so we could get cases low again. And then they were very aggressive about reopening. And I think unfortunately that's why we're seeing a third wave and a third lockdown, which I think could have been avoided."

He adds the shutdown measures as they currently stand might not be enough to stop the spread of COVID-19 if reports of crowded shopping malls over the weekend are widespread.

Hirji says Niagara Public Health could bring in additional measures if necessary, but for now the plan is to pay attention to what happens over the next few weeks.

"It's a bit more difficult than what the province does because we'd have to do orders sector by sector to go address that." He says. "I've always viewed the roll is the province is going to set the overall situation and then we fine tune it based on what we're seeing locally where there might be a need locally for additional measures."

Click here to listen to Hirji's full interview with Tim Dennis.