The province began its curfew on Saturday when one in 1,000 Quebecers succumbed to COVID-19 and 3,127 new cases were enumerated, a record that specialists associate with Christmas holiday visits.
“What we’re seeing now happens a week after New Year’s Day. We are paying for the holiday getaways, ”laments microbiologist Marc Hamilton, who expects such high balance sheets in the coming days.
A Léger poll in collaboration with the Association for Canadian Studies revealed that nearly one in two Quebecers had visited someone during the holidays. “We dropped the ball,” adds Dr. François Marquis, head of the intensive care unit at Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont, in Montreal.
The toll was also increased on Saturday by 41 deaths. Hospitalizations were down slightly (-11, for a total of 1,392) and 206 people (-1) were still in intensive care.
In Quebec alone, 161 more cases and eight deaths have been recorded, while Chaudière-Appalaches reports 128 new infections and one additional death.
The detection of 3,000 cases, including 1,531 in Montreal, only increases the probability of exceeding the capacity of dedicated COVID beds, worries Roxane Borgès Da Silva, professor at the School of Public Health at the University of Montreal.
This week, the National Institute of Excellence in Health and Social Services estimated this probability at 50% in Montreal hospitals by January 26.
“It’s very sad to know that it is the people waiting for surgery who will suffer. [à cause du délestage] », Admits the researcher.
Note also that a dark milestone was reached in the province on Friday because a total of 8,606 individuals succumbed to the coronavirus. The population of Quebec is estimated at 8.58 million inhabitants, which means that one in 1000 Quebecers has died from COVID-19.
Meanwhile, elementary school students will return to class as scheduled starting tomorrow. Ms. Borgès Da Silva sees this as a risk that school staff who saw relatives during the holidays are the cause of outbreaks.
Microbiologist Marc Hamilton, for his part, “totally agrees” with the reopening, the probabilities of contagion in primary school being lower than in secondary school.
– With the collaboration of Dominique Lelièvre