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October 29, 2020 – Provincial government update on the COVID-19 pandemic

Here is an update on recent decisions and actions by the Québec government in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Greater sacrifices during the war

Québec Premier François Legault referred to the preparations for the commemoration of the First World War armistice of November 11, 1918, to remind Quebecers that previous generations had to make sacrifices “that were far more demanding than what we’re being asked to do now.”

“When we compare the sacrifices we’re asking citizens to make, we should keep this in mind,” said Mr. Legault, to convince those who are “unhappy and frustrated” with the restrictions imposed to fight the pandemic that these measures are necessary.

“We don’t have a choice, we have to prevent it,” he said.

Contagion is high but under control

While the pandemic is worsening around the world, the premier noted with relief that even though the infection rate is still high, with an average of 1,000 cases a day for the last month in Québec, it is under control.

“Quebecers need to understand or become aware that the situation is critical. […] The measures that we’re putting in place are not harsher than elsewhere in the world, and even less so in some instances,” said Mr. Legault, to put things in perspective.

The context in Québec should be considered somewhat of a consolation compared to the global situation. Mr. Legault stated that, proportionately, the United States is recording twice as many cases on a daily basis, while France is recording five times more.

Only one remedy: helping each other

Premier Legault once again pleaded for people to show understanding that this is the only solution available, whether they run restaurants, gyms or are simply frustrated by the isolation measures.

“We had another 25 deaths yesterday, that’s why we’re asking you to make these sacrifices,” said Mr. Legault, adding that the businesses that are required to be closed are not closed because they did anything wrong, but in order to limit social contact, the vector of the contagion.

A vaccine this winter

The director of Public Health, Dr. Horacio Arruda, announced that global public health authorities think that an effective vaccine could be produced and available by January, February or March.

“This is hypothetical,” he said. And if the vaccine is approved, the doses will be limited and vaccinations will first be made available to health workers and people at risk of complications.

Cyberattack against health networks

The minister of Health and Social Services, Christian Dubé, confirmed that several hospitals have been targeted, like elsewhere in the world, by a very well organized cyberattack to extort the government.

Mr. Dubé specified that the cyberattack is serious and that the systems were closed to guarantee their integrity.

These attacks seek to hold public authorities ransom under threat of losing their computer data.