Of doctors and experts cast doubt on the capacity of the quebec health system to cope with a second wave of COVID-19, especially if it occurs at the same time as the flu.
“If the pandemic continues and causes a second wave in the fall and winter, it may be very serious. Even more serious than what we have known “, is concerned about the intensivist of the jewish general Hospital, Dr. Michel De Marchie, in the forefront of the crisis since march.
The recent increase in the number of infections and the misfire of the last days of the network of health do not have anything of reassuring.
“It is absolutely flabbergasting, it means that the system is not ready to respond,” explains Dr. De Marchie, about queues of five hours to take the test in Montreal.
About 200 patients and staff have contracted the coronavirus after an outbreak at the Hospital in Saint-Jérôme since June.
“It is disheartening to see that, because we should have measures in place […] it shows a release “, he says, adding that hospitals should not lower its guard.
The doctors fear especially the second wave at the same time as the influenza virus will make its appearance, while the symptoms are similar.
“Imagine a big flu season, with emergency overflow as it happens each year in Quebec and the vienna plug in to it the COVID-19,” says the microbiologist Karl Weiss.
It is a fear that hospitals are unable to isolate and test all these patients at the same time. And if tens of thousands of transactions must be cancelled as this spring, Michel De Marchie is a possibility of ” collateral damage immeasurable “.
With the start of the construction holiday, the professor of the School of public health of the University of Montreal Roxane Borgès Da Silva is concerned, meanwhile, that the second wave dreaded key areas that ” will not have the means of the health network in Montreal. “
“If there’s a second wave and that it is severe, I think we will have big problems,” says the professor emeritus Pierre-André Contandriopoulos, fearing the absence of local leadership in NURSING homes, for example.
The epidemiologist Benoît Mâsse is estimated in turn as the ball is in the camp of Quebec. It is their duty to wear the mask and to abide by the guidelines of social distancing to limit the spread of the virus, even if he is not surprised by the current resistance.
“This will be a war very different from the first and it is not necessary to prepare for the second wave with the scenario of the first “, concludes Dr. Weiss.
Sick of the COVID-19 better cared for
If there is a good news in the fight against the COVID-19 in Quebec, it is that doctors know how to better treat people infected with the coronavirus.
“This is a disease that is not only lung. It is also an inflammatory disease which has the ability to cause thrombosis [blood clots in the blood vessels], ” says Dr. Karl Weiss.
For example, the microbiologist adds that in-patients will often receive a blood thinning medication, to prevent the formation of clots.
No employees extra in a CHSLD private
“We will not have extras if you fall in the second wave,” says Michel Nardella, owner of the Residence of Happiness, Laval, and president of the Association of institutions of long-term private Quebec.
These institutions have been hard hit by the pandemic, with over 3,600 deaths in the CHLSD public and private, the level of their labour is still precarious.
Mr Nardella says he has enough staff to provide the services, but there will again be a lack if several fall ill or flee like in the spring. And the accelerated formation of the government is that for the public institutions.
The “guardian angels” always exhausted
“No, no, no, it is not necessary that [the second wave] is in the month of August” starts with fear the president of the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec, Nancy Bédard.
Nurses and attendants have still not been able to take their vacation and are still forced to work full-time, ” she continues.
The ministry also stresses that 4296 health workers are currently absent. In may, this number has climbed up to 11 000 workers.