Left Menu
Development News Edition

Canada's Quebec sees coronavirus cases soar, faces equipment shortage

Reuters | Ottawa | Updated: 01-04-2020 03:05 IST | Created: 01-04-2020 02:47 IST
Canada's Quebec sees coronavirus cases soar, faces equipment shortage

With more than half of Canada's coronavirus cases, Quebec has become the country's epicenter for the pandemic and could run out of some equipment in a week after missing an early opportunity to control the outbreak.

The spring school break, a popular travel week, took place in the first week of March in Quebec, earlier than many other Canadian provinces. But Quebec did not have broad social restrictions in place and thousands of returning travelers went back to schools and work. It was on March 12, days afterward, that Quebec asked people coming back from abroad to self-isolate for 14 days and canceled large indoor gatherings.

By then, a single wedding gathering in Montreal had led to multiple new cases in the province in addition to the hundreds of returning travelers exacerbating community spread of the highly contagious respiratory virus. In one Quebec town, a Hasidic Jewish community has been placed under quarantine after a trip to New York during that same period led to an outbreak among its members.

Quebec subsequently introduced tougher measures to help curb the coronavirus including shutting all but essential services, introducing fines and setting up police checkpoints to restrict travel to parts of the province with lower rates of infection. The province has only three to seven days' supply of some protective medical equipment, Quebec's premier said on Tuesday, adding he expected new shipments to arrive in coming days.

Quebec on Tuesday reported a 21% jump in cases to 4,162 and 31 deaths. Nationally, Canada has 7,708 confirmed cases and 89 deaths. As of Monday, Quebec had tested 59,715 people, compared with 54,112 for Ontario, the country's most populous province. Just 2.5% of Ontario residents had tested positive, compared with 4.8% for Quebec.

'ONE FACE SHIELD PER DAY' Quebec is now asking medical staff to disinfect and reuse N95 masks. In Montreal, Quebec's biggest city, one hospital had already told staff to wipe down and reuse face shields, according to an internal memo, while an impromptu effort was under way across the city to produce more visors.

"We have been asked to be careful with pandemic supplies because there is a limited number and we need to conserve as our numbers of patients increase," said the memo to Jewish General Hospital staff, seen by Reuters. "Kindly limit to one face shield per day." Workers were told to clean the clear shields when going in and out of COVID patient isolation rooms, one staff member said.

"These masks aren't supposed to be reused," said the staff member who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak with media. "It's definitely a concern." A hospital spokesman said that "the practice of disinfecting face shields is being tested in certain units," and noted that other hospitals were doing the same to deal with a shortage of shields.

An expected surge in cases and shortage of equipment led companies like sports equipment maker Bauer Hockey to modify its hockey visors into face shields at its Quebec facility. Residents with basic equipment are also stepping up to laser-cut equipment for hospitals.

"We're just filling a gap here," said Jordan Bowden, partner in a Montreal pinball bar, who is producing clear visors for face shields. "We heard the stories from the front-line workers and knew it was time to act."



‘Discounted Deaths’ and COVID 19: Anthropology of Death and Emotions

Death is a social event rather than the mere cessation of biological functions. As seen by anthropologists, death is not just physical but intensely social, cultural, and political....

Indigenous knowledge of communities a must for maximizing impact of community work

Generally, it has been observed that the majority of the academicians in higher education institutions neglect the wisdom of community people and throw their weight around thinking that they know everything and the community knows nothing. ...

In rebuking FBR, Pakistan’s courts take a stand for public health

The system, if implemented effectively, will allow Pakistans revenue service to combat the illicit trade in tobacco products and potentially add hundreds of millions of dollars to the states budget each year. ...

Dissecting how COVID-19 is catalyzing the trajectory of New World Order

The ensuing pandemic of COVID-19 has hit the globalization in two ways firstly, shrinking the importance of globalization as an economic force by curtailing mobility through worldwide lockdowns, and secondly, rejuvenating the idea of indig...


Latest News

China public security ministry pledges to 'guide and support' HK police

Chinas public security ministry pledged to guide and support the Hong Kong police force after Chinas parliament approved a decision to impose a national security law on the semi-autonomous territory, highlighting Beijings intention to take ...

There was no recent Modi-Trump contact: Govt sources

There has been no recent contact between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump, government sources said on Friday. The clarification came after Trump said in Washington that he spoke to Modi over Indias ongoing border r...

Bengal minister tests positive for COVID-19

A minister in West Bengal has tested positive for COVID-19, making it the first such case in the Mamata Banerjee-led state cabinet, a well-placed source in the government said on Friday. State Fire Services minister Sujit Bose has been advi...

No talks between Prime Minister Modi and Trump on Ladakh: Sources

The last conversation between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump took place on April 4, 2020, on the subject of hydroxychloroquine, informed sources over the matter told ANI on Friday.This is in contradiction with th...

Give Feedback