58 new coronavirus deaths in Quebec as total cases pass 16,500

Apr 17 2020, 10:37 am

The Quebec government revealed that the province’s COVID-19-related death toll has increased to 688 total after announcing 58 new deaths in the past 24 hours.

As part of his daily briefings, Premier François Legault updated provincial numbers, stating that Quebec now has 16,798 known cases (a 941 increase since Thursday), 1,076 patients are hospitalized, 207 of whom are in intensive care.

A total of 136,924 cases have turned up negative throughout Quebec and 3,068 have been cured of the virus.

“Of course, I wish to get back to our national emergency that is the situation in CHSLDs. Many Quebecers might be asking how we find ourselves in this situation right now and how we haven’t taken better care of our elderlies,” Legault said in French.

“Today, I admit, and I take full responsibility for this. If I could have done it all over again, I would have increased the wage of orderlies quicker in my tenure.”

He says the province came into the crisis “badly equipped” with orderlies and the pandemic has obviously made it worse.

On Wednesday, Legault stressed the need in Quebec to “fortify” staff at CHSLDs.

“We need more, we’re missing people, we’re missing hands,” he urged.

Legault added that students who are finishing their healthcare studies should receive a call in the next few days asking to help out the province in CHSLDs.

Last week, Legault said 90% of the COVID-19 fatalities in the province are within citizens who are 70 years old and older, while 9% are between the ages of 60 and 69. On Thursday, Legault said he’s “happy” to see that 2,000 doctors throughout the province have responded to his request to reinforce staff members at long-term care homes throughout Quebec.

At Friday’s briefing, Legault says he “sincerely thanks” all the medical staff members who have stepped forward to help with staff shortages in CHSLDs.

The premier said the province is short CHSLD workers due to former staff members who have contracted the virus or those who fear that they may.

Legault confirmed that the federal government is going to send 125 people from the Canadian Armed Forces who are qualified in the medical field to help in CHSLDs. He thanked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for his efforts.

Legault ended his briefing by saying that, besides Montreal and Laval, the situation is “under control” in the majority of regions across the province. He said he and Quebec’s Director of Public Health, Dr. Horacio Arruda, are considering “gradually” opening certain regions in Quebec.

“We’re talking about businesses, not schools,” he said.

The premier concluded Friday’s meeting by saying that even though we’re going through a “very difficult” period in CHSLDs, we are “finding solutions and we’ll get through this together.”

Quebec is one of the global leaders when it comes to screening tests, according to the premier, hence the consistent influx of known cases throughout the province.

Legault said that for Quebecers who do go outside, they are to remain two metres (six feet) away from people and are urged to wash their hands when they return to their homes.

Canada’s coronavirus death toll now totals 1,252.