Quebec at beginning of second coronavirus wave as cases jump, top doctor warns

WATCH: Quebec public health director Dr. Horacio Arruda now believes his province is at the beginning of a second wave of COVID-19 as cases climb even higher. As Mike Armstrong reports, Arruda is pleading with people to do everything possible to reverse the trend.

Quebec’s director of public health says the province is now at the start of a second wave of the COVID-19 health crisis as cases surged once again Monday.

“We are in the second wave, at its beginning,” said Dr. Horacio Arruda. “I think the situation is serious. The situation is serious everywhere in Quebec.”

The declaration comes as the health crisis is continuing to pick up steam after health authorities reported 586 new cases Monday, bringing the total to 68,128.

The jump in cases comes as the province announced Sunday that it was moving to tighten controls in the Montreal, Quebec City and Chaudière-Appalaches regions to limit the spread of virus.

READ MORE: Quebec City elementary school shutters for two weeks due to coronavirus outbreak

Arruda warned those areas could soon be in the red zone, the highest warning level in the province’s multi-colour four-level alert system.

“We haven’t lost control,” Arruda said, but described the evolving situation as “very preoccupying.”

He stressed Quebecers must respect public health directives and co-operate with officials to keep the pandemic from worsening by limiting unnecessary contact with others.

“This second wave, we can transform it into a smaller wave than we experienced before, but if we don’t make the effort, it can be even bigger than the first,” he said.

In Montreal, the regional public health director issued a similar plea, saying the city and province are entering a second wave as cases increase.

READ MORE: Montrealers urged to respect health measures, answer contact tracing calls to stem COVID-19 tide

Health Minister Christian Dubé also took to social media Monday after the new data was released, saying “all efforts must be made” to stop the rising number of infections.

Three additional deaths were also recorded Monday, but they stem from earlier in the month. The death toll stands at 5,804 after health authorities found a previous fatality was mistakenly attributed to the virus.

Hospitalizations also surged by 10 from the previous day to 148. Of them, 30 people are in intensive care, a decrease of one.

Quebec reported 23,126 tests carried out on Saturday, the latest day for which the information is available.

With files from The Canadian Press

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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