LThe information was provided Thursday by the National Director of Public Health, Horacio Arruda, who was reassuring, taking stock of the situation across Quebec.
A total of four people were under investigation and all tests carried out were negative, he said.
And if ever it was discovered that a person had indeed contracted the potentially fatal virus, Quebec would not be caught off guard, having already taken all the necessary measures to prevent the disease from spreading.
Dr Arruda had invited the media Thursday to remind the general population that there is no need to worry too much. He asked Quebeckers to live their lives normally.
He admitted that the series “Epidemic”, currently broadcast on TVA, and films such as “Contagion” made his task difficult, with people sometimes mixing fiction and reality.
“Let’s keep our rational minds,” he said at a press briefing. There are people who are afraid of the packages that will arrive from China (…) as if there were anthrax powder inside. We are not there yet. I don’t know if you understand all that this can have as perverse effects. ”
The main symptoms of the coronavirus are fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. People with a previous medical condition, such as heart or lung disease, would be at greater risk of contracting it.
Dr Arruda urged people not to give in to irrational and unfounded fear as China ramps up draconian measures to contain the outbreak and the World Health Organization (WHO) has just declared emergency state.
“Worry, I can tell you, it spreads pretty much faster than any germ,” he said. Fear is a very bad counselor, and fear makes doing business that doesn’t have a damn Christ, but it’s human. I can’t say people are crazy, they are just normal, fear does that. Fear is an epidemic. ”
Masks can harm
He cites as an example the massive purchase in Quebec of masks, which can be harmful to health, he says. A person who is not infected who would wear the mask would only accumulate secretions and would eventually become infected.
According to him, masks should be reserved for healthcare workers and patients with suspected infection. Those in the population who are worried can wash their hands several times a day and practice respiratory hygiene, that is, coughing into their elbow, for example, he explained.
“If the mask was a significant protective measure, I would recommend it,” insisted the public health expert. Why would I deprive myself of a simple thing that could help? But it can be harmful, on the contrary. “
He also lamented that parents are now choosing to withdraw their children from schools where there are students of Asian origin. “There is no reason,” he exclaimed. We ostracize children, we say to the child: “We must be afraid of the Chinese”! “
“A person of Asian or Chinese origin who has the common cold now, don’t think it’s the coronavirus there. This is very important, ”he added.
In Quebec, as elsewhere in the world, instructions have been given by government authorities to detect possible problem cases in airports and in hospital emergency rooms.