The Montreal Regional Public Health Department (DRSP) confirmed on Wednesday that the first case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 confirmed in Quebec is indeed in the metropolis.
• Read also: Omicron: Rapid rise in cases in South Africa
• Read also: Significant increase in the number of cases: Dubé refuses to support Christmas gatherings of 20 people
The Regional Director of Public Health for Montreal, the Dd Mylène Drouin, explained that the case is related to a traveler, but added that the protocols put in place should prevent its spread. “He is someone who is asymptomatic and has been double vaccinated. There is a very strict isolation that has been put in place,” the D . underlinedd drouin.
Health Minister Christian Dubé admitted on Monday that a first case of the variant had been detected in the province.
The Montreal DRSP has acknowledged its concern about the new variant and is therefore adjusting its disease monitoring protocols.
“At this stage, we have very little information about the epidemiological features of the Omicron variant, its transmissibility and the extent to which it will cause severe forms of the disease. In such a context, caution should be exercised,” the D. explainedd Mylene Drouin.
The DRSP will adopt a “differentiated approach” depending on the variant, and all protocols introduced in the spring will be reactivated.
“With suspected cases of Omicron, we are going to take a very ‘suppressive’ approach. Contacts, even double vaccinated, will be isolated. We will have a very close follow-up to avoid additional cases and community transmission,” he said. they.
the dd Drouin explains that the best strategy at the moment is to reduce the importation of things as much as possible, and welcomes in this regard the initiative of the federal government, which has tightened its borders and imposed new rules on foreigners to prevent the entry of the variety in the country.
“We clearly need to be concerned about the vaccination coverage of all countries of the world as these are variable incubators and we will get out when everyone gets out,” she added.
Watch out for the holidays
Furthermore, the Dd Drouin was hesitant about the comments of Prime Minister François Legault, who confided in a press conference that he hopes Christmas dinners with up to 25 guests can be held this year.
“The recommendation will not come from me,” exclaimed the D. fromd Drouin, adding that we need to see the evolution of the situation.
“Currently there is an increase in the number of cases, but very little impact on hospital admissions. If we had continued on this line, we might have been able to arrange an interesting holiday season for everyone, but there is the uncertainty of the Omicron variant,” she added.
She explains that the impact of the variant on hospital admissions should be monitored over the next two weeks and that if there are meetings, people should be vaccinated.
Significant gaps in the vaccination of 5-11 year olds
After a week of vaccination in young people aged 5 to 11 years, almost 20,000 children have been vaccinated, which corresponds to 14% of the eligible population. Nearly a third of this population has also made an appointment to receive the vaccine.
“There will be approaches to schools that are prioritized in red light districts, places where there are still a few barriers,” said the D.d drouin. She adds that her message to parents is to get to the vaccination centers as soon as possible if possible.
However, significant gaps remain. For example, in Outremont and Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie, vaccination rates for this age group are 17.3% and 15.6%, respectively, while in the northeast of the city, rates drop to 3.2% and 3.5% for Montreal North and Saint-Leonard.
“If we took the vaccination card when we got to the adults, the first week of vaccination, it was the same areas,” recalled the D.d Drouin, who is nevertheless optimistic that the vaccination campaign in schools could change the situation.