COVID-19: 5 soldiers on duty in Quebec and Ontario

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Five Canadian Forces soldiers were infected with the new coronavirus while serving in nursing homes in Quebec and Ontario – four in Quebec and one in Ontario – confirms the Department of National Defense.

One of the soldiers was on duty at the Villa Val des Arbres in Laval, a suburb of Montreal, said a former soldier and veterans’ advocate who follows the deployment of the army in the event of a pandemic.

This unidentified infected soldier was part of a team of soldiers who arrived at the retirement home on April 20 in response to an urgent request for help from the Quebec government, said Sylvain Chartrand of Canadian Veterans Advocacy.

After the soldier tested positive for the new coronavirus, the entire team was removed from the house. It is not clear if they were told to isolate themselves.

A second case would be a military dentist who also took up duty at one of the long-term care centers – possibly in the Montreal area, the current epicenter of the COVID-19 epidemic in Canada.

National Defense has not provided details of the other three confirmed cases.

“The safety of soldiers is a concern for the veteran community and for me personally,” said Chartrand. “We absolutely must ensure that all of the benefits of treatment within the military are available, but more importantly, that Veterans Affairs Canada offers treatment compensation for any foreseeable consequences of this virus.”

Watch | The brig.-gen. Gervais Carpentier on members of the Canadian Armed Forces who have tested positive for COVID-19:

Brigadier-General Gervais Carpentier speaks with Rosemary Barton of the CBC about members of the Canadian Armed Forces serving in long-term care facilities who have tested positive for COVID-19. 12:04

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed the news of the infections when he met with the media on Friday morning, but did not provide details.

“There is always a risk in what they do and they do it knowingly and willingly, and that is why we offer them our deepest gratitude every day,” said Trudeau.

“At the same time, we need to make sure that we do everything we can to protect them, so let’s take a look at the protocols in place and see if and how they can be strengthened… making sure that COVID- 19 does not spread across the [Canadian Armed Forces] and others who serve their country. ”

Watch | Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reacts to the military cases of COVID-19:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with journalists on Friday. 1:22

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