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COVID-19 in Quebec: What you need to know Wednesday

  • On Wednesday, Quebec reported 1,344 people in hospital (an decrease of seven from the previous day), including 45 in intensive care (a decrease of two from the previous day).
  • The province reported 584 new cases of COVID-19 and 21 deaths.
  • Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 1,063,036 confirmed cases, and 15,378 people have died.
  • The province also reported 4,124 health-care workers absent for COVID-related reasons.
  • 91 per cent of the eligible population in the province (aged five and up) has received at least one dose of the vaccine; 55 per cent have received a third dose and 13 per cent have received a fourth dose.

* The new cases are those reported to the Quebec government only. They are believed to be an underrepresentation of the virus’s spread, given the limited availability of PCR tests and use of home testing kits.

* Quebec’s Health Ministry no longer reports COVID-19 numbers on the weekend.

Three doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine offer strong protection for children younger than five, the company announced this week.

Children aged under five are the only group still not eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine in Quebec. Currently, Health Canada has not yet approved any mRNA COVID-19 vaccines for children in that age group.

Pfizer told CBC News Monday morning that they are in discussions with Health Canada regarding a vaccine for children under five, but cannot comment on timelines.

Moderna had previously confirmed it was also working on a submission to Health Canada for the approval of a COVID-19 vaccine for children under the age of six.

More tickets issued in different neighborhoods

A study that analyzed 31,845 tickets issued for public health violations by Quebec police during the first 15 months of the pandemic found there was a higher concentration of fines in some of Montreal’s more diverse neighborhoods.

The report said 377 tickets were issued to people who reside in Indigenous communities.

On average, there were 326.5 tickets per 100,000 residents in Quebec, but that number jumps to about 513 in Montreal and 479 in Abitibi-Témiscamingue.

The number skyrockets in more specific areas like Outremont which had 1,173 tickets served per 100,000 inhabitants with a large portion of those issued for gathering in houses of worship, the report said.

Human rights advocates say Quebec’s punitive approach during the pandemic was ineffective and there was evidence of racial profiling.

Pandemic is not over, says WHO

The COVID-19 pandemic is “most certainly not over,” the head of the World Health Organization warned over the weekend, despite a decline in reported cases since the peak of the Omicron wave. He told governments that “we lower our guard at our peril.”

The United Nations health agency’s director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, told officials that “declining testing and sequencing means we are blinding ourselves to the evolution of the virus.” He also noted that almost one billion people in lower-income countries still haven’t been vaccinated.

While there has been progress, with 60 per cent of the world’s population vaccinated, “it’s not over anywhere until it’s over everywhere,” Tedros said.

“Reported cases are increasing in almost 70 countries in all regions – and this in a world in which testing rates have plummeted.”

Top COVID-19 stories

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

  • Fever.
  • New or worsening cough.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Sudden loss of smell without a stuffy nose.
  • Gastrointestinal issues (such as nausea, diarrhea, vomiting).
  • Sore throat
  • Generalized muscle pain.
  • Headache.
  • Fatigue.
  • Loss of appetite.

You can find information on COVID-19 in the province here and information on the situation in Montreal here.

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