“We’re in a 3rd wave” of COVID-19, says the Quebec well being minister

MONTREAL – Quebec is in the midst of a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Health Minister Christian Dube said on Monday.

When the province recorded another 891 cases of the disease and a recent upward trend in infections, it confirmed what the prime minister had predicted just days ago.

“No question about it, we are in a third wave,” said Dube at a press conference with Montreal Public Health Director Mylene Drouin.

“But what we can do in a third wave is to control it. Fight the variants as hard as possible.”

According to the province, there are 705 confirmed cases of variants in the province and 6,480 suspected cases.

The health minister made the remarks on Monday while visiting a community center that has become a testing and vaccination site for vulnerable populations.

This area of ​​Montreal, also one of the poorest neighborhoods in Canada, was a COVID-19 hotspot in 2020 and had the highest rate of infection per capita in the city.

For the health minister, vaccinations there are more about “quality” than quantity, he said. The Rolling Clinic or Pop-Up Clinic will be in a different location on Tuesday.

The pop-up clinics began on March 25, a spokesman for the Nord-du-l’Ile health district told CTV. They should give vaccines to those who would otherwise not make it to one of the mass vaccination sites.

(1/2) We have entered a third wave, and the situation remains under control for the time being, despite the spread of the variant. Congratulations to Dr. Drouin from @Santepub_Mtl and to her team for their field work and their rigorous monitoring of the #polmtl situation

– Valérie Plante (@Val_Plante) March 29, 2021

“The concept is to bring the vaccine to a place for one day, which is due to various factors such as vaccination rate, the presence of variants, [or] the socio-economic vulnerability of a neighborhood, “said spokeswoman Séléna Champagne.

They promote the upcoming clinics through hyperlocal door-to-door efforts, phone calls, and neighborhood signs in conjunction with local organizations.

From March 25 to April 3, “we plan to deliver approximately 1,000 doses at a dozen pop-up clinics in the Montreal-North, Saint-Laurent and Villeray sectors,” said Champagne.

The health minister said the province’s entire vaccination campaign is going well, with records in recent weeks.

“I think Dr. Drouin has proven in the last few months or a few months that since the variants are with us, we could control them in Montreal compared to what happened in Toronto, for example. I’m just going to touch wood because if we do that things will suddenly change, ”he told reporters.

“But I think Dr. Drouin and her team have shown that we can track these variations using the best and best practices she has done so far. That was the reason why we were here today. “

However, with nearly 15 percent of Quebec’s population getting their first vaccination, some say vaccination is not going fast enough while others say the province is moving too fast in easing restrictions.

In red zones, places of worship were recently allowed to receive up to 250 people indoors, and gyms have recently reopened, along with a relaxed curfew in Montreal from 9:30 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. every day. As of Monday, the high school students will go back to full-time classes.

The province said it was a balancing act between protecting people from the virus and prioritizing their mental health.

“That’s why we question ourselves every day,” he says. “We don’t open a gym or school just to be nice. We only do it for mental health. “

“If you look at how the students react, how they go back to school today, how they meet their friends, it’s a good reason we do this because we want people to be happy. And it’s tough what they went through last year. “

– With files from Cindy Sherwin from CTV

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