Hospitals are in a “really critical” situation, worries Prime Minister François Legault, who asks Quebecers to limit their contact with people aged 65 and over to the maximum, as long as they are not vaccinated.
“We can recover afterwards,” said the Prime Minister, taking stock with the media for the first time since the entry into force, last Saturday night, of the 8 pm curfew.
Last week, Mr. Legault once again asked the elderly to stay at home, as much as possible.
But the reverse is also true, he recalled Monday. That is to say, it is necessary to prevent the youngest from infecting the elderly, who remain the most vulnerable to COVID-19. “80% of COVID patients are 65 and over, then 95% of deaths are people who are 65 and over,” the Prime Minister repeated.
If the number of new cases of COVID-19 (1869) announced today is lower than the figures reported for several days, Quebec still deplores 51 new deaths. “It’s a lot of people,” regretted Mr. Legault.
There are now more than 1,400 patients infected with COVID-19 in hospitals in the province, which puts “enormous pressure” on the network.
“The majority of hospitals in Quebec at the moment are at the maximum level of load shedding,” said Assistant Deputy Minister of Health, Dr. Lucie Opatrny, who was participating in the press briefing.
Despite all current efforts, if the trend continues, many patients “risk suffering the consequences,” warned Dr. Opatrny.
For example, some may have their kidney transplant or colonoscopy postponed to an unknown date.
Already 140,000 surgeries are waiting to be performed. In Greater Montreal, the number of hospitalizations has practically doubled since mid-December: from 472, the number of patients treated for COVID-19 reached 1071 on Sunday.
The Prime Minister took the opportunity to thank Quebeckers, who overwhelmingly followed the instructions during the first two evenings of curfew.
Mr. Legault said he was “touched” by the solidarity thus expressed by Quebecers. He also thanked the police who had to crack down on some 740 recalcitrant in just 48 hours.
During this time, the vaccination continues. Within two weeks, all CHSLD residents will be vaccinated. Half of them have already received a first dose, said the Minister of Health, Christian Dubé.
Quebec also plans to review its strategy if ever Pfizer requires to administer the second dose within the prescribed time.
This is because the Legault government decided to administer a first dose to as many people as possible. “It is a question of solidarity,” said the Prime Minister, even if it risks compromising the effectiveness of the vaccine.
“We will comply if it is to stop the supply of new doses,” he conceded in response to the warning formulated by Ottawa.