Following a call from the COVID-STOP health group, about fifteen Quebec public health experts are now asking for tougher health measures in the province, which is facing third-wave versions.
“Any delay in introducing such a strategy could lead to delays in emerging from the health crisis, and in addition would lead to predictable consequences in terms of avoiding morbidity and mortality,” thundered in a letter sent by fifteen public health doctors. Press.
Public Health Specialist Dagain Frédérique Brouillard, one of the signatories of the letter, calls on the government to launch a strategy to “suppress” the virus, which includes, among other things, limiting social contacts, quickly isolating cases and finding their contacts. He explains that since the arrival of the vaccine, the Quebec government has instead opted for a “mitigation” strategy that includes controlling the spread of the virus.
“Vaccination is a medium-term solution. We have to give ourselves enough time to achieve sufficient coverage with vaccines, otherwise we risk more cases, hospitalizations and, unfortunately, death, ”explains the expert.
Experts have acknowledged from the outset that the province is facing a third wave that is “very different” from the first two. Health authorities have been better informed about the virus and its variants, and vaccines are currently being offered to the population. However, the current epidemiological situation is far from reassuring them.
Experts fear an increase in the number of cases due to incomplete vaccination among those under 70 years of age. “The severity of these cases will lead to longer hospital stays in intensive care and preventable deaths, especially in relatively young people,” the doctors write.
As explained earlier this week in Ljubljana Press Dr François Marquis, head of intensive care at Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital, with the same disease, a young person “always takes more money than an old person”. Therefore, she is ill for longer and more resources must be used to treat her.
The signatories of the letter claim the same. “Increasing hospital care needs for people with severe forms of COVID-19 will inevitably affect the health system’s response to other health problems,” they continue. In the long run, this pressure on the network, exacerbated by staff shortages, risks affecting the vaccination campaign and fears Dagain Frédérique Brouillard.
“If we had a very important third wave with a lot of hospitalizations, could the return of human resources to hospitals hamper the vaccination campaign? He wonders.
Last Wednesday, Prime Minister François Legault announced draconian health measures in Quebec, Lévis and Gatineau, cities with “explosive” epidemiological conditions, including the return of curfew at 8pm and the closure of schools by 12 April. Major companies will also have to close their doors.
For public health professionals, this is too little, too late. These “reactive” measures are not sufficient to prevent a “significant” proportion of deaths associated with more transmissible and more pathogenic variants.
The mitigation approach paves the way for greater virus circulation to respond downward and try to curb the escalation of the situation. The relaxation of health measures recently issued by the authorities is part of this worrying mitigation strategy.
Excerpt from the letter
This letter was published hours after the COVID-STOP collective recommendation that Greater Montreal be put on hiatus for three to four weeks. Experts, including Dr Amir Khadir, a specialist in microbiologists and infectious diseases at Pierre-Le Gardeur Hospital, then called on the government to resume containment measures, including school closures.