April 16, 2021 – Federal and provincial government update on the covid-19 pandemic
Here is an update on recent decisions and actions by the Canadian and Québec governments in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Calling on the solidarity of Canadians
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned that the next few months will be decisive in the fight against COVID-19, as the situation continues to be worrisome. The federal government is continuing to lend support to all spheres affected by the pandemic, and called on the population’s ongoing cooperation, particularly with regard to meticulously following the current health guidelines until the end of the vaccination campaign, scheduled for September.
Free services accessible at all times
The prime minister explained that it is normal that the situation is causing stress and anxiety, and encouraged the population to ask for help if needed and to use the free service available 24/7, Wellness Together Canada, to access essential services for mental health at wellnesstogether.ca/fr-CA.
COVID-19 in numbers
So far, Canada has recorded 1,096,000 cases of COVID-19, including 23,500 deaths. Over the last week, there was an average of 8,600 daily cases. The number of serious and critical cases continues to rise. On average, 3,400 people were treated each day in hospitals, including 1,050 intensive care units. This represents a respective increase of 34% and 22% compared to the previous week. The number of deaths also rose by 38%, with 41 deaths last week. Moreover, there has been a worrisome increase in the number of variant cases, with 51,700 new cases, 96% of which involved the B117 variant.
At about the same time as Moderna announced a decrease of nearly half of its vaccine delivery scheduled to arrive before the end of April, the government was signing an agreement with Pfizer-BioNTech for a shipment of 8 million additional doses, with 4 million to arrive in May and 2 million in June and July. Canada has already received over 12 million doses of the vaccine and, so far, 7 million Canadians have received their first vaccination dose
If these conditions can be maintained, Prime Minister Trudeau predicts that the vaccination campaign will be completed by the end of September for anyone who wants the vaccine.
Changes in the wearing of masks outdoors
During a press conference on Thursday morning, Premier Legault announced that wearing masks outdoors will only be mandatory when people who live at different addresses cannot maintain a two-metre distance at all times.
The easing of measures announced Mr. Legault pertain, in particular, to golf and outdoor tennis, for which masks will no longer be mandatory.
In his message, Mr. Legault stressed that “the objective of this measure is to prevent transmitting the virus when people from different addresses are less than two metres apart.” He reiterated that Quebecers must continue to exercise caution and, if in doubt, they should wear a mask to protect themselves against the more contagious variants.