Friday, March 31, 2023

Projections indicate Quebec COVID-19 wave to last for two more weeks: health director

MONTREAL – The current wave of COVID-19 in Quebec is expected to continue for about two more weeks and will not affect hospitals, the province’s interim public health director said on Friday.

Projections indicate that the situation in hospitals will not be as bad as in January, when more than 3,400 patients were hospitalized with the disease, which led to lockdowns, curfews and delays in surgeries, Dr. Luc Boileau told reporters.

“We don’t have an estimate of what will take us … the number of hospitalizations we experienced in January,” he said. “Nothing is impossible, but our estimates suggest that the wave will continue in Quebec for perhaps two weeks.”

Although there are more than 1,600 people in hospital with COVID-19 and at least 13,000 health care workers absent due to the novel coronavirus, Boileau said the situation will be particularly difficult for health care centers and long-term care homes in areas where there are more than 13,000 people in hospital. Province with less capacity than larger cities.

“We expect it to still be difficult for the next few days, or even a few weeks,” he said, adding that he is “quite confident” that the system will be able to “maintain more essential services.”

Dr. Jean Longtin, a medical microbiologist at the Department of Health, said that while the current wave is affecting Quebecers of all ages – in contrast to the fifth wave in January, when younger people were more likely to be infected – older people have higher numbers of COVID-19. Booster doses of -19 vaccines are expected to lead to fewer hospitalizations than in winter.

“Vaccine intake in the older population is very good,” Longtin told reporters. “Even though they can become infected, if they are vaccinated with the third shot and the fourth shot, it will protect them from serious illness and hospitalization.”

Boileau said he believed the indoor mask mandate could be lifted at the end of the month. Earlier this week, Boileau recommended the government to extend the order by two weeks. This applies to all indoor public places and was due to end on April 15.

“The intention is really to return to the context as normal as possible, but we do not decide, it is the contagion that will decide; This is an action taken by all,” he said. “It is also an effect of the virus itself, because it has already infected a lot of people in Quebec and continues to do so. Once you are infected, your chances of getting reinfected immediately are low. is.”

Meanwhile, health officials on Friday reported 30 more deaths due to COVID-19 and the number of hospitalizations involving the disease rose to 55 patients. The health department said there were 1,637 patients in the hospital after 230 people were admitted and 175 people discharged in the last 24 hours. The number of people in intensive care dropped from two to 62.

The province reported another 3,572 cases confirmed by PCR testing, restricted to certain clusters, and officials said another 35,199 COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered in the past 24 hours.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on April 8, 2022.

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