The priority for Quebec during the COVID-19 crisis remains the protection of its seniors, Prime Minister François Legault said Thursday, calling it “our duty”.
“They built Quebec,” said Legault of the province’s seniors. “They are the ones who were subjected to charges. They are the ones who leave us the legacy of a fairer, richer, more beautiful society.
“We have a duty to protect them. “
According to Legault, 99% of Quebecers who died from COVID-19 are 60 years old or more and 90% are 70 years old or more.
The Premier also said that a third of those who have died so far from COVID-19 in the province were people living in six government-run retirement homes (CHSLDs) in Quebec who have been hit hard by virus epidemics.
These residences are:
“I know that seniors’ residences are very concerned at the moment, but I do not want Quebeckers to think that this situation is critical everywhere,” explained Legault, explaining why he took the unusual step of identifying residences in question.
Legault announced earlier that the province would redeploy staff from Quebec hospitals and other health facilities to strengthen the staffing of CHSLDs in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19 among Quebec seniors.
On Thursday, he said that 450 doctors and 100 other health workers were reassigned to CHSLDs.
He also said that a new rule would require all workers in residences to wear masks within two meters of any patient.
Legault reiterated his call to Quebecers not to reunite as a family for the next religious holidays such as Easter and Passover, noting that he would not visit his mother in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue for Easter, but that he would call him – and he urged Quebeckers to do the same with their loved ones.
Quebec announced Thursday that 216 people have died from COVID-19 in the province and that the number of confirmed cases in Quebec stands at 10,912.
This is a 41 increase from the 175 deaths reported on Wednesday and an 881 increase from the 10,031 confirmed cases announced a day earlier.
Thursday, 679 Quebecers were treated for COVID-19 in hospitals, reported health authorities, up from 47 of the 632 reported the day before; among them, 196 are in intensive care, up 15 from the 181 reported on Wednesday.
There are also 1,112 Quebecers who recovered COVID-19, up 285 from the 827 recoveries reported the day before.
Montreal continues to have by far the most COVID-19 cases in the province, with 5,262, an increase of 487 in the past 24 hours; you can see a full regional breakdown here.