The number of deaths from coronaviruses in Quebec rises to 61 while the cases exceed 6,000

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The death toll in Quebec following the new coronavirus health crisis reached 61 dead Friday, almost double the day before.

Prime Minister François Legault said that 25 other Quebecers have died, but that the majority of deaths have not occurred in the past 24 hours.

“What we want is to minimize the number of dead,” he said. “It works, but we have to keep going. “

The province will release its coronavirus projections on Tuesday, added Legault. The Prime Minister has said he thinks it is important to provide this information to the public, which is becoming clearer.

“I want to make sure before I give figures to the people that they are reliable,” he said.

READ MORE: Canadian Rangers in Northern Quebec to Help Locals Fight Coronaviruses

In Quebec, there are 6,101 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. Montreal represents almost half of them with more than 2,800 infections.

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Regarding medical equipment, Legault said there was more available than at the start of the week when the province sounded the alarm about an impending shortage. There is now enough protective equipment to last the next eight days, he said.

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After announcing a salary increase for employees in the health care network, the Quebec government announced a new temporary program for other workers.

Low-income workers in essential services – such as cashiers – will receive an additional $ 100 per week for up to 16 weeks. The measure is retroactive to March 15.

“We want to lend a hand to those who get up every morning,” said Minister of Labor Jean Boulet.

Helping small businesses

A series of new measures are also being rolled out in Quebec to help small businesses as the pandemic weighs on the local economy.

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The provincial government announced on Friday that it will provide $ 150 million in temporary emergency funding to municipalities to help entrepreneurs weather the storm.

“Our government wants to help as many businesses as possible overcome the crisis,” said Minister of Economy Pierre Fitzgibbon in a statement.

READ MORE: Nunavik locked, flights canceled to protect coronavirus communities

The initiative will help businesses hard hit by COVID-19, with up to $ 50,000 to stay afloat.

As part of this plan, Montreal will receive $ 40 million and $ 10 million will go to Quebec. The remaining $ 100 million will be distributed among the other municipalities in the province.

Businesses in all industries, including co-operatives and non-profit organizations, are eligible for funding.

Other financial measures include greater flexibility in repaying loans made under the province’s local investment funds made to businesses by municipalities. Entrepreneurs have a six-month respite in the middle of the pandemic.

The boost comes in the middle of a lockout in Quebec. Non-essential services – including bars and most retail stores – are physically closed until at least April 13 in order to stop the spread of COVID-19.

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With files from the Canadian Press

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