Manitoba charts new course by collecting race-based data on COVID-19

…In a widely circulated report he co-authored last month, Dr. Andrew Pinto called on all Canadian jurisdictions to begin collecting data on the race of COVID-19 patients using a uniform questionnaire, to be able to compare results nationally.

“We need to recognize that crises don’t affect everybody the same,” he said in an interview. “Without the data, we won’t be able to see that and direct resources and effort to where they’re most needed.”

So far the country is moving toward a clearer picture of ethnic disparities in fits and starts, although the non-profit Canadian Institute for Health Information has endorsed Dr. Pinto’s report, and offered to help compile such data.

Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, Eileen de Villa, said in an interview that the city’s public health agency will start gathering ethnic data as part of its COVID-19 case investigation process by the week of May 18, once it has the technical capacity. “We’re pretty much ready to go,” she said.

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