May 22, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

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“BA.2 variant increase worries”

"BA.2 variant increase worries"

Quebec has not yet entered the sixth wave of COVID-19, but is slowly approaching it, Luke Boyle, National Director of Public Health Acting, said Sunday.

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“I can not officially confirm that this is the sixth wave,” Dr. Boyle said at a press briefing with the aim of stockpiling the spread of the virus.

The rapid increase in infections in the province is officially considered a “cause for concern”, largely due to the prevalence of the BA.2 sub variant, which is derived from the omicron variant of COVID-19.

“Quebec has at least two-thirds of COVID cases, which are BA.2 cases,” Dr. Boyle said Sunday, recalling that the new variant is at least 40% more contagious than Omicron.

Due to the spread of the virus, 107 new hospitals were connected to COVID-19 on Saturday, the highest since the fifth wave. “This is a number that worries us. Since last Monday, it has been different from other weeks’ trend. We are seeing it go backwards,” the public health official agreed.

Consequently, the National Director agreed that the Quebecars should expect to continue wearing their mask until at least April 15th. Recall that the government had previously indicated that the mandatory wearing of the mask could be lifted by mid-April if data on the spread of the virus improved.

“With so many measures lifted, we are preparing for an increase in cases. This is to be expected,” Dr. Boyle recalled.

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In addition, the health network is particularly affected.

“Within a week, we had 60% more vacations for health workers due to COVID,” said the director of public health. Thus, 8,600 health workers were out of work due to the virus.

At present, the increase in cases and hospitalization is mainly concentrated in the eastern parts of the province, but the metropolis seems to have escaped relatively.