COVID-19 deaths in Quebec reach 688 while the total number of cases reaches 16,798

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MONTREAL –
A total of 688 people died from COVID-19 in Quebec, health officials announced Friday, as confirmed cases in the province reached 16,798.

This represents a 58% increase from the 630 deaths reported on Thursday. The total number of COVID-19 cases in Quebec increased by 941 compared to 15,857 announced the previous day.

As of Friday, 3,068 people recovered from the virus.

As of Friday, 1,076 people were being treated for COVID-19 in Quebec hospitals, up 58 from the 1,018 reported on Thursday; of those hospitalized, 207 are in intensive care, two fewer than the 209 reported the day before.

PRIME MINISTER LEGAULT ADMITS REGRETS

The Premier of Quebec, François Legault, spoke of some of his regrets about long-term care facilities, shaken by outbreaks and deaths since the start of the pandemic. Nearly 75% of long-term care homes in Montreal experience COVID-19 outbreaks, and about half of all coronavirus deaths in the province come from these facilities.

Legault said he wanted to increase the pay for attendants earlier, even without a collective agreement in place.

“I am not perfect, and I think I should have increased the salaries of caregivers before the crisis,” he said.

He also criticized the cost of labor for medical specialists in long-term care facilities, saying that now is not the time to negotiate the amount of doctors paid, they want to do what they can to help.

“This is not the time to talk about money, this is the time to save lives, to save the lives of our elderly people,” he said. “We need the 2,000 pairs of hands you give us, and we also need your expertise. “

Legault said the province is working to get more caregivers and nurses into residences, but they are in “problem-solving mode”, adding that he recognizes that “we cannot keep our doctors there forever. “

Legault said teams have so far called 29,345 people who have signed up to provide health and social services on the Je Contribue website. Among them, they offered to hire 6,773. Legault said that 2,097 people decided not to accept, leaving 4,676 people who registered on the website and are now working in the health and services network. social. Health Minister Danielle McCann added that government teams continue to call those who have offered to help.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed on Friday that 125 members of the Armed Forces who have received medical training will start working in long-term care facilities in Quebec.

“We asked Justin Trudeau for a few days if he had members of the Forces with the necessary qualifications to help, especially the nurses. This morning, we only got the final answer that 125 people are available to do so. As soon as we got this information, we confirmed that we wanted it, ”said Legault.

Legault noted that there is no shortage of protective equipment in the workers’ health network. It is possible, he said, that there will be some problems with distribution, but there is no shortage of equipment.

“We have materials,” he said, “I want to be very clear about this.”

AGRICULTURAL WORK PROGRAM

Legault also discussed an announcement due to be made on Friday afternoon regarding a work program for agriculture in the province. The $ 45 million plan will provide a weekly supplement of $ 100 in addition to farmers’ wages to Quebecers who offer to enter the province’s farms. Farmers will face a labor shortage due to many migrant workers unable to spend the summer in the province.

“I encourage you to come and help in our fields, to help our farmers and to help us be more food independent in Quebec,” he said, adding that he knows that working in the fields and with animals is not an easy job, “but I think it will be a great experience. “

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