COVID-19 Assessment | 902 new cases, five deaths

The strong upward trend for COVID-19 continues in Quebec, as the province reports 902 new cases and five additional deaths on Thursday, but records a slight drop in hospitalizations. Meanwhile, vaccination is increasing again, following the start of the campaign among children aged 5 to 11 years.

Henri Ouellette-Vézina

Henri Ouellette-Vézina

These 902 new cases raise the daily average calculated for seven days to 777. Therefore, the trend is upward by 20% for one week. As for them, the five deaths bring the daily average to three, a trend that rises slightly over a week.

In the health network, however, there has been a slight decrease in hospitalization, that is, 20 new admissions and 21 discharges. Currently, 210 patients remain hospitalized in relation to COVID-19, including 45 in intensive care, a drop of one case in 24 hours there as well.

In new models launched on Thursday, the National Institute for Excellence in Health and Social Services (INESSS) predicts that the number of new hospitalizations “will remain at its current level for the next few weeks.” If, in Greater Montreal, occupancy rates for regular beds and intensive care “remain stable” in the coming weeks, they could however “increase slightly” in the rest of Quebec, the government agency warns.

The effect 5-11 years.

Regarding vaccination, we can clearly see that the effect of the launch of the campaign is being felt among the 5-11 years, while more than 16,200 additional doses were administered during the day of Wednesday in Quebec, to which in addition, about of 300 vaccines administered before November 24 that had not been counted.

This is significantly more than the average of the last few weeks; the rate of administration of the number of doses was slow, reaching only a few thousand per day. Last spring, more than 100,000 doses were administered per day, when many Quebecers were receiving their vaccinations.

To date, 79.9% of Quebecers have received at least one dose of vaccine, while 77.8% of them are adequately vaccinated.

As of Thursday morning, no less than 163,000 appointments had been made through the Clic Santé platform for children from 5 to 11 years old, or more than 25% of this age category. The vaccination campaign will be implemented in schools starting next week.

Earlier Tuesday, Quebec conducted 32,265 screening tests, a figure slightly above the weekly average in this regard.

It all comes as a new, potentially highly contagious and multi-mutated variant of COVID-19 has been detected in South Africa, which is seeing signs of a new wave of pandemic, scientists announced Thursday. This variant, called B.1.1529, has an “extremely high” number of mutations and “we can see that it has a potential for very rapid spread,” said virologist Tulio de Oliveira at a press conference of the Ministry of Health of the Nation.

So far, 22 cases have been reported, mostly affecting young people, according to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD). Cases have also been reported in neighboring Botswana and Hong Kong, in a person returning from a trip to South Africa.

With Pierre-André Normandin

Follow the progress of the pandemic in real time on our interactive charts page.

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