- The fear of the new coronavirus spreading to Quebec has been on every local's mind lately, so the Quebec government wants Quebecers to be reassured that there have been no confirmed cases of the virus in our province.
- Today, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the new coronavirus epidemic represents a "public health emergency."
- Read the updates on the novel coronavirus in Quebec and internationally below.
In recent weeks, the new coronavirus outbreak that has been raging mainly in China has been of concern to many of them. The situation continues to evolve and other cases of the virus have been reported around the world, including some in Canada. While special measures have been put in place to contain the spread, the provincial government launched, on Thursday, an appeal to remain calm to the population regarding the novel coronavirus situation in Quebec, now designated nCoV-2019.
In the last few days, federal authorities have issued warnings to Canadians not to travel to China, airports and hospitals across the country have implemented special measures and some airlines have even suspended their flights to Beijing and Shanghai.
For its part, Quebec's Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS) remains calm and is asking the public to do the same.
In a press release, the MSSS made a point of correcting the facts about the coronavirus because of all the information circulating on the subject.
"We wanted to take stock of the situation to remind the population at large that there is no cause for undue concern, although it is still important to be prudent and to promote preventive measures that are always essential in such situations," said Horacio Arruda, theNational Director of Public Health.
So, here's what you need to know about this infection:
"The situation in Quebec remains stable."
No cases have been confirmed in the province to date. Four people have been investigated but all have tested negative.
"The number of cases outside China remains quite low."
So far, the cases outside China have not created a chain of transmission. In addition, people who have been infected show only mild symptoms and do not require hospitalization, according to the MSSS.
"Masks are not a useful protection tool for the general population in Quebec."
The use of masks is rather recommended for patients with symptoms and for health professionals.
"In the current context of influenza and other respiratory infections, the important thing remains to practice basic respiratory hygiene."
Hygiene measures include: covering your mouth and nose with your elbow or a handkerchief that is quickly thrown away and washing your hands frequently with soap or disinfectant alcohol (Purell).
"We don't know what sort of damage this #2019nCoV virus could do if it were to spread in a country with a weaker health system. We must act now to help countries prepare for that possibility" -@DrTedros.
It should be noted that the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Thursday afternoon that the new coronavirus epidemic represents a "public health emergency of international concern."
The WHO said the declaration was made to prevent the spread of the coronavirus to countries with weaker health systems.
"This is not a vote of no confidence in China," said WHO's Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who has confidence in China's ability to control the epidemic.
In total, there are now 7,834 confirmed cases worldwide. 170 people have lost their lives due to this infection.
This article was originally published in French on Narcity Québec.