MONTREAL — The number of new COVID-19 cases in Quebec is expected to decline slowly, the province's public health director said Friday.
Dr. Luc Boileau told reporters in Montreal that he expects the seventh wave of the pandemic to reach a plateau in the coming days, followed by the slow decline.
"It went up more slowly and it will go down more slowly," he said. "That's why it's important to remember that the virus is continuing to spread. If it doesn't descend quickly, it's because there's still a lot of infections and spread of the virus."
Quebec began vaccinating children under five against COVID-19 on Monday, but Boileau said he won't be trying to convince parents to give their children the vaccine.
"It's a personal choice for parents, there are advantages to being vaccinated, but it's not something that needs to be done, except for kids that really need it," he said. The children most in need are those at high risk of developing serious illness, such as those who are immunocompromised.
Boileau said few children have been hospitalized due to the disease, or developed serious illness, other than in a couple of "tragic situations."
Quebec reported 16 additional deaths linked to the novel coronavirus and a 46-patient decline in the number of hospitalizations Friday.
The Health Department said 2,176 people are in hospital with the disease, including 68 people in intensive care, a decline of one from the day before.
It said 738 of those patients, including 31 of those in intensive care, were specifically admitted due to COVID-19.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 29, 2022.
This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.
Frédéric Lacroix-Couture, The Canadian Press