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Trudeau hopes Quebec remains ‘transparent’ on coronavirus case numbers

Coronavirus: Trudeau responds after government announced it will no longer release daily COVID-19 updates
ABOVE: Trudeau responds after Quebec announced it will no longer release daily COVID-19 update.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Thursday he hopes Quebec will remain “transparent” on coronavirus case numbers a day after the province announced it would switch from daily to weekly updates.

On Wednesday, Quebec said it will end daily updates this Friday and, starting July 2, release weekly numbers on coronavirus cases, tests and deaths.

Read more: Quebec to stop providing daily COVID-19 updates favouring once-a-week format

A health department spokesperson said the province is switching because the epidemiological situation is stabilizing.

Quebec’s most recent COVID-19 numbers show there have been a total of 55,079 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, including six in the last 24 hours. There have been a total of 5,448 deaths. The province also has the most cases and deaths in Canada.

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Quebec is currently the only province to switch to a weekly COVID update.

Trudeau said it’s up to each province to make its own decisions about how transparent it needs to be when releasing coronavirus information, but he hopes Quebec will remain open.

Coronavirus outbreak: Transparency critical during a crisis
Coronavirus outbreak: Transparency critical during a crisis

“In Quebec, there are still a significant number of cases every single day and a significant number of deaths every single day,” Trudeau said. “I certainly hope Premier Legault would continue to be transparent and open with Quebecers and, indeed, all Canadians as he has been from the very beginning.”

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Canada’s deputy chief public health officer, Howard Njoo, was asked about Quebec’s decision during a media conference Thursday.

“My understanding is that it’s alright to give the data on a regular basis, maybe once weekly,” Njoo told reporters. “But certainly, if there was a hot spot or something unusual — an outbreak, for example, in Montreal — I’m sure the officials in Quebec would certainly be transparent,” he said.

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Coronavirus outbreak: Quebec passes 5,000 COVID-19 deaths as lockdown restrictions loosen
Coronavirus outbreak: Quebec passes 5,000 COVID-19 deaths as lockdown restrictions loosen

Health Minister Patty Hajdu echoed Njoo’s comments, saying she hopes the data will be shared on a “rapid basis” with the federal government.

She also stressed the importance of Canadians to keep in mind the pandemic is not over.

“Quebecers have been through a difficult time, just like all Canadians, and I think they will be very open to hearing how they can continue to protect themselves and their loved ones,” Hajdu said.

— With a file from the Canadian Press