Quebec reported 756 new cases of COVID-19 and two additional deaths as health authorities warn of the arrival in Canada of the Omicron variant of concern.
Canada’s first known cases were confirmed in Ottawa on Sunday. Ontario’s top doctor said the two people who had recently been in Nigeria, were first tested for the virus in Montreal upon their arrival in Canada.
On Sunday, Federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos reassured the public, while also saying more cases of the variant are expected.
“I know that this new variant may seem concerning, but I want to remind Canadians that vaccination, in combination with public health and individual protective measures, is working to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and its variants in our communities.”
Of the new cases of COVID-19 reported in Quebec, 417 are among unvaccinated people or those less than two weeks removed from a COVID-19 vaccine.
According to data released by Quebec’s health ministry, those who are unvaccinated are 3.6 time more likely to become infected than those who are adequately vaccinated.
They are also 16.1 times more likely to be hospitalized due to complications of the virus than people who are fully vaccinated.
Pandemic-related hospitalizations increased by 10 in the last day, with 22 patients admitted and 12 discharged for a total of 226. Of those, 45 are in intensive care.
Quebec’s immunization campaign for kids between the ages of five and 11 continues with 69,889 children having received a first shot of a pediatric vaccine and 136,264 others having booked an appointment.
The latest data available shows that 80 per cent of the population in Quebec has received at least one dose.
To date, the province has recorded 447,387 infections and 11,576 deaths attributable to the virus.
Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé is expected to provide an update on the health crisis on Monday afternoon.
— With files from Global News’ David Lao and The Canadian Press
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