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April 7, 2020 – New measures by governments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

In the exceptional circumstances of the current health state of emergency, here is an update on recent decisions by federal, provincial and Montréal public authorities in connection with the coronavirus pandemic.

The prime minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, and the premier of Québec, François Legault, stressed the importance of respecting the Public Health guidelines, even more so as the weather improves and Easter approaches.

The guidelines remain the same: stay home, go out only for essential needs and, when doing so, respect social distancing of 2 metres, and wash hands regularly to limit the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19.

“We must persevere if we want to enjoy the summer,” said Mr. Trudeau. “This is not the time to ruin all of our efforts by slacking off. The month of April will be crucial,” said Mr. Legault.

As promised, and at Mr. Legault’s request, health experts revealed the best- and worst-case scenarios of the impact of the pandemic in Québec. We are nearing a stabilization of the situation. Experts believe the infection rate among the population will peak around April 18.

According to their scenarios, we could see between 1,263 and 8,860 deaths in Québec by April 30. The trend places us among the best performances of countries affected by the pandemic. According to the national director of Public Health, Dr. Horacio Arruda, there is a 75% probability of this being the case “if we continue to follow the guidelines as we’ve been doing since the start (of isolation).”

Montréal Mayor Valérie Plante has cancelled all festivals, sports events and public gatherings on the island until July 2. Financial compensation will be available to the organizations affected.

Reminder of the guidelines

Premier Legault emphasized that as Easter approaches, we must avoid gatherings, and not invite family over, even if we think others are not sick. He asked for the support of religious leaders in conveying this message within their communities.

Extra support for seniors

Minister of Health and Social Services Danielle McCann has authorized the transfer of physicians and nurses from hospitals to CHSLDs and residences for seniors, who are the most vulnerable to fatal complications from COVID-19.

This measure is possible because hospitals are not as busy as anticipated.

Protective equipment

Close to 5,000 Canadian companies have offered their services to rapidly manufacture medical protective equipment in the fight against COVID-19, in response to the increasing demand to protect frontline health workers. Domestic production will guarantee supplies.

An agreement was concluded for the manufacture of 30,000 respirators. A manufacturer of automobile airbags has converted its operations in order to manufacture medical gowns.

Millions of surgical masks have been ordered from several Canadian companies, while the American multinational 3M will be delivering half a million N95 masks to Canada tomorrow.

Health Canada has authorized the sale of more than 85 new products for Canadians.

Agricultural labour

Mr. Legault is exploring with the Canadian government provisions that will allow temporary foreign workers to enter the country to support farmers. He also wants assistance to be made available to Quebecers interested in working on farms.

The Tooth Fairy

Premier Legault gave a nod to children today by showing a video of a young girl who confided in him that she was worried about the Tooth Fairy visiting during the pandemic.

Mr. Legault reassured her that the Tooth Fairy has been added to the list of essential workers and that she is immune to COVID-19.

Closing words

Prime Minister Trudeau reminded everyone that April 7 is World Health Day and National Caregiver Day in recognition of all those who are caring for the vulnerable and the sick during this full-blown pandemic. “Whether you are a physician, nurse, patient attendant, housekeeper or in charge of ventilation, thank you for helping us.”

For his part, Mr. Legault thanked the 125 members of the National Assembly and their staff for their contribution and all the help they are bringing to their communities.