A local collective called COVID-STOP, which includes Quebec scientists and physicians, is demanding that the provincial government enforce stricter public health protocols in Greater Montreal — just as it did in three other cities earlier this week.
In a press release on April 2, COVID-STOP said the closure of schools and non-essential businesses in Quebec City, Gatineau and Lévis should "be applied quickly and in the same way in Greater Montreal" due to the "already very high" rate of circulation of the virus combined with increasing cases linked to virus variants.
The collective said the "time to act is now," insisting on rapid salivary tests in Montreal schools and better ventilation in classrooms and workspaces.
"The variants are more contagious and will require longer and tighter containment than in previous waves if we are slow to respond," said Dr. Amir Khadir, microbiologist-infectiologist at Pierre-Le Gardeur Hospital in Terrebonne.
The press release said Chile, a country that's highly vaccinated, is currently experiencing an increase in intensive care admissions "because they have been too quick to relax measures."
In press conferences earlier this week, Premier François Legault said he would not rule out adding more areas to the list of places "on pause," but he also said Montreal's COVID-19 situation is currently "stable."