COVID-19 measures temporary but necessary, Legault says as numbers jump

Modesto Morganelli
Marzo 26, 2020

While Quebec has by far the highest number of cases in Canada, Legault said it was impossible to compare between provinces because each one tests differently.

"We have to remember that all this is temporary", Legault added.

The Quebec government has confirmed that two more people in the province have died as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic, bringing the total number of fatalities to six.

"We have to identify the source, (and) identify if there is an outbreak", said Drouin, who explained that public health is reaching out to clusters of cases to determine who is most at risk so they have the information they need to ensure they aren't infected.

As of March 25, the Montreal region (the area encompassing the metropolis and on-island suburbs) accounts for 603 of Quebec's COVID-19 cases.

"Effectively, Quebec will be on pause for the next three weeks", he said.

"What we're saying is confinement, except for essential services", he said.

In Quebec, the number of novel coronavirus cases has jumped since the beginning of the week.

Some 26,600 tests have been negative, while 3,000 people are waiting for results.

The illness is also present in at least three seniors residences in the regions of Montreal, the Eastern Townships and Lanaudière.

It's hard to determine the exact reason for all cases, said Drouin, who explained that in almost half of the cases, people were returning from a trip, but others may have had contact with travellers, and are even second or third generation transmissions.

She said that while the majority of cases involve travellers or their close contacts, the city is also seeing cases of community transmission.

Some 31 health workers are also infected, she said.

Premier François Legault is expected to provide an update on the province's response to the pandemic on Wednesday.

He defended the decision to include government-run liquor and cannabis stores among the essential businesses allowed to remain open.

He said that he himself felt well, despite missing seeing his grown children, and felt encouraged by Quebecers pulling together to fight the virus. One person who had contracted COVID-19 has since recovered.

However, for some, including Canadians aged 65 and over, those with compromised immune systems and those with pre-existing conditions, the illness can be much more severe.

The number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb in Quebec. The Globe offers the dos and don'ts to help slow or stop the spread of the virus in your community.

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