COVID-19: sharp increase in hospitalizations

If it is early to speak of a sixth wave of COVID-19, despite a marked increase in hospitalizations in Quebec in the last few days, experts are concerned about the imminent abandonment of the wearing of the mask.

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No fewer than 1,043 Quebecers were bedridden due to the virus yesterday, an increase of 41 from the day before. According to our information, a further rise is also expected today.

“Nothing surprising, nothing alarming anyway. Certainly, we will have to make sure that we maintain control as we are doing at the moment, ”argues virologist Benoit Barbeau.

The Interuniversity Center for Research in Analysis of Organizations (Cirano) has also noted a certain stability in new cases recently.

For example, from March 10 to 15, more than 20,000 additional infections were recorded per day, estimates the organization.

A rise in contamination has also been observed in the Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine region, which now has the highest rate of active cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

Take off the masks

It should be noted, however, that an upsurge in cases is expected by the health authorities due to the many relaxations. To this end, the experts consulted by The newspaper believe that it is too early to end the obligation to wear a mask in public places, except public transport.

Customers shopped with a mask

Photo QMI Agency, Mario Beauregard

Customers shopped with a mask

“The mask is a very effective and inexpensive measure. It has returned to social norms, behaviors and practices. Why remove it at a time when you’re unsure of the impact it might have? raises Roxane Borgès Da Silva, professor at the School of Public Health at the University of Montreal.

Similar story with Benoit Barbeau, who recalls that certain European countries are struggling with a constant increase in hospitalizations.

The World Health Organization has criticized Germany, France, Italy and the United Kingdom, among others, for lifting their anti-COVID measures too “brutally”.

Dominant variant

” [Le masque]it would be a measure on which I would keep myself a little embarrassed. […] Europe has always been quite reliable compared to what’s coming in North America,” underlines Mr. Barbeau,
considering that it will be necessary to quickly improve screening tools.

According to epidemiologists, this rebound is explained in particular by the now predominance of the sub-variant of Omicron BA.2, approximately 30% more contagious – but not more dangerous – than its predecessor, BA.1.

“We want to find [nos libertés] and the mask is an intermediary that we must keep with us to allow us to do so, “said pharmacist Diane Lamarre on TVA Nouvelles yesterday.

Outbreak in CHSLD

An outbreak of COVID-19 at the CHSLD Frédérick-George-Heriot claimed 19 victims as of Tuesday.

Screenshot TVA NEWS

An outbreak of COVID-19 at the CHSLD Frédérick-George-Heriot claimed 19 victims as of Tuesday.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 continues to claim victims in Quebec. At the Frederick-George-Heriot accommodation center in Drummondville, 19 deaths have been recorded since March 8, reported TVA Nouvelles. The most recent assessment also reported 61 active cases among patients, against 16 among employees.

Too much staff mobility may have contributed to the spread of the virus in the CHSLD, according to sources.

This situation reflects the importance of quickly giving a second booster dose to vulnerable people, experts believe. After a while, “the vaccine runs out in the body, and this is particularly true in vulnerable people who have a weaker immune system”, summarizes Roxane Borgès Da Silva.

– With AFP


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