- Another confirmed case of COVID-19 in Quebec brings the total to 9, up from 2 at the beginning of the week.
- The World Health Organization has officially deemed the virus an international pandemic.
- 570 individuals are now under investigation in Quebec.
The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Quebec has now reached 9 with another 136 individuals now under investigation. The Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS) maintains that the risk of transmission in Quebec remains low and a total of 570 people have been tested and come back with negative results for the virus. The MSSS explains that the rapid increase in confirmed cases can be tied to the ability the Laboratoire de santé publique du Québec now has to test for the virus independently of the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg.
Previously, all tests of presumptive cases had to be sent to Winnipeg for analysis before confirmation. Now, Quebec's lab is able to complete the testing in-province, expediting the process. This could also explain the lack of presumptive cases in the province.
The MSSS also explains that the high number of individuals under investigation is a result of the growing number of countries where analysis of travellers is recommended. In yesterday's press conference, Health Minister Danielle McCann explained that all people returning from outside the country will be asked to monitor their symptoms for 14 upon returning to Quebec.
With 93 countries now having confirmed cases, the World Health Organization made the move to characterize the COVID-19 outbreak as an international pandemic, what they call "the first pandemic caused by a coronavirus."
Two cases were confirmed on Wednesday in Quebec, the eighth was a person travelling to France who returned and was consulted in a hospital in Mauricie, as the tweet below explains.
The tweet continues, noting that the woman is now in home isolation. The tweet also highlights that 570 people are now under investigation, though there are no new presumptive cases.
Minister of Health, Danielle McCann also made an announcement yesterday that the World Figure Skating Championship, which was to be held in Montreal next week, was now officially cancelled.
Government employees, particularly those in the health and education networks, have also told they are no longer authorized to travel outside of Canada in the course of their duties.
The ninth confirmed case was announced just before 6 p.m. on Wednesday night. Again, the woman was travelling, this time in Italy.
She was consulted in Estrie and is now in home isolation.
The tweet above continues, "the search for close contacts is underway. The persons concerned will be contacted and the necessary measures will be applied. Total: 9 cases in QC."
The MSSS published this flyer yesterday, as well, to remind people in Quebec that preventing infection relies on the public as a whole.
Just like getting vaccinated to prevent illness works best with wide-spread immunization, wide-spread hygienic practices can also greatly mitigate the spread of infections.
On the global front, PM Justin has pledged to donate $50 million to the WHO for COVID-10 response support.
Earlier this week the Prime Minister also shared that a $1 billion COVID-19 package had been set aside to help fight the virus within Canadian borders.