COVID-19: The projections may have feared the worst in Montreal

COVID-19: Les projections de mai font craindre le pire à Montréal

Projections of the evolution of the pandemic published without notice by the national Institute of public health do fear the worst in case of déconfinement in Montreal, with over 150 deaths per day in July, even without considering the CHSLD.

In contrast to the scenarios of the month of April, which had been the subject of a briefing technique, and a press conference, the scenarios may have been put online without warning to 16.15 on Friday.

The graphics on the evolution of the COVID-19 in Quebec presented without absolute figures are worrying, particularly in the Greater Montreal area, where are found the most cases and deaths.

Even without déconfinement in the metropolis, “it is still difficult to determine the trajectory of the epidemic”, considers the expert group of the INSPQ and Université Laval conducted by Marc Brisson, who concocted these projections.

“In Greater Montréal, the situation of the COVID is fragile, so small increments of social contacts could lead to a rapid increase in hospitalizations and deaths,” summarized Mr. Brisson in an interview granted to our parliamentary Bureau in the early evening.

According to the charts available, including all the cases, that is to say, those who are confirmed and those estimated, one could cross, from the month of June, the bar of 10 000 cases per day by case of déconfinement in Montreal. We will exceed 150 deaths per day as of the following month.



NURSING homes excluded

The cases and deaths in NURSING homes is considered as a “closed environment”, however, have been excluded from the projections.

“We have two dynamics are completely different and if we included infections and deaths from the NURSING homes we would not have a good portrait of the dynamics of transmission in the general population,” said Mr. Brisson.

Elsewhere in Quebec, with or without déconfinement, the situation seems to be so stable that the projections suggest a reduction of hospital admissions and deaths, which would, however, be slowed down with the resumption of contacts.

“As for the other regions, the model suggests that there would have been an epidemic peak at the beginning of the month of April”, was illustrated by Mr. Brisson.

“In a context where in other regions, where we have this kind of reduction in cases, hospitalizations and deaths since a certain time, there is a certain margin of manoeuvre for a déconfinement”, he added.

“Day by day”

On Monday, in a press briefing, the national director of public health, Dr. Horacio Arruda, had indicated that the scenarios for the month of may would be made public “before the déconfinement”.

“The scenarios, you will be able to show them to you. […] It is a portrait taken at a given time with data, but we are going to follow the thing day-to-day”, said Dr. Arruda.

“There are three Quebec. There is the Quebec NURSING homes, particularly in the region of Montreal, there is the Quebec Montreal, […] and then there is the other Québec, which, to him, has truly reached all the criteria for a déconfinement,” he warned.


“These projections demonstrate a major risk to the population of montreal to an easing of restrictions. Therefore, it becomes impossible to proceed with any easing in the metropolitan area. With these data, the government must prioritize public health over all other interests.”

– Andre Fortin, spokesman for the liberal Party of Quebec in matters of health

“In all cases, the decision of déconfiner should not be based on hypothetical scenarios, but rather on the six criteria set out by the WHO. The government must explain to the population how and when it will comply with these criteria before accelerating the déconfinement, in particular Montréal.”

– Sol Zanetti, spokesperson of Québec solidaire health

“The publication of these scenarios on the sly on a Friday, at 16h, without notice to the public, is a serious lack of transparency. […] What these scenarios reveal is that the déconfinement should be extremely cautious. The curve for the Greater Montreal area is very worrying. It is clearly not very flat.”

– Joël Arseneau, a spokesperson for the Parti québécois in the field of health


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