Quebec reinstates daily updates to COVID-19 data after violent public reaction

After hearing the outcry, the new Quebec Minister of Health, Christian Dubé, said that the province would resume publishing COVID-19 data every day.

“We are listening,” Dubé said in a tweet Friday, two days after the province announced that it would only release data on a weekly basis.

“As of Monday, the publication of daily reports on the development of the [COVID-19] will sum up. “

He said that the Quebec government has been transparent since the start of the pandemic and will continue to be.

The province’s public health institute, the INSPQ, publishes daily updates, including the number of cases and hospitalizations in Quebec, the number of tests performed and the number of people who died.

The data are also disaggregated by age and region and indicate how many long-term care homes are experiencing outbreaks.

Province surprised by critics

the announcement Wednesday the fact that the province would switch from daily to weekly updates drew strong criticism, as it would have meant that Quebec would provide data less frequently than any other Canadian province, despite the fact that it occupies number one in the country in number of cases and deaths.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressed the frequency of data releases at his daily press conference on COVID-19 on Thursday, saying it is up to each province to decide on transparency.

He said he hoped Prime Minister François Legault would continue to be “transparent and open”.

Dr. Horacio Arruda, director of public health in Quebec, said he and his team were surprised by the strength with which people reacted to the decision to stop publishing data daily. But he said he had no problem providing the figures daily.

WATCH | The Quebec director of public health explains the decision regarding the data:

Dr. Horacio Arruda, director of public health in Quebec, said public health officials were taken by surprise by the force with which people reacted to the decision to publish data every week. 1:21

“We thought we would publish once a week and that would be enough. We did it without consulting the other provinces, of course, because health is a provincial jurisdiction, even if we try to align ourselves,” said Arruda during a press conference. Friday in the Eastern Townships.

“I have no problem stepping back.”

Arruda said that as Quebec’s COVID-19 curve flattened and the number of new cases and deaths decreased, he believed that it would be acceptable to publish data once a week, as done Quebec for other diseases.

The decision was not motivated by political or communications problems, he said.

He said he had misjudged people’s reaction to the decrease in the frequency of data release. He said he thought people no longer wanted to hear about COVID-19, but he was wrong.

“So on Monday everyone will have the news as before,” he said, urging people to forget the blip.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.