Montreal’s COVID response has had negative ‘collateral effects’ on population, report finds

of COVIDThe -19 pandemic and the health measures put in place to limit it have caused widespread collateral effects that disproportionately harm the most vulnerable, Montreal’s public health director said Tuesday.

Mylène d’Orwan is the city’s COVIDIt includes 11 recommendations for responding more efficiently and equitably to future health crises.

One of her key recommendations is to develop monitoring systems to monitor the fallout of health measures and find ways to mitigate them, especially for the most vulnerable. “We are all not equal when faced with a health emergency,” she told reporters during a video conference.

“People are exposed to risk differently. Vulnerability determines our ability to take protective measures and our ability to recover,” she added.

Drouin said of all Quebec regions: montreal felt the greatest impact from COVID-19, both in terms of mortality and strict health measures.

As a result, the city reported higher levels of anxiety and depression at the height of the pandemic, and alcohol and cannabis use also spiked, she said. Domestic violence is also on the rise, she said. said.

Mr. Drouin said that less wealthy Montrealers COVID-19 They were more likely to experience certain side effects, such as unemployment and food insecurity, because they were in critical jobs with less sick leave.

“We know that crises exacerbate social inequalities, which is why how we plan and deploy interventions to integrate this assessment of inequality from the start is so important,” she said. said.

She said the pandemic has emphasized the importance of working with community groups to reach out to vulnerable people.

Drouin said the pandemic shows that moves to prevent deaths and reduce strain on hospital systems must not completely mask the risks of increasing other health problems. As a group of older adults, she found that banning caregivers from visiting older homes and long-term care facilities may have led to increased isolation and worsening physical and mental health among residents. He said he heard that there was

“We always have to balance protective measures with ensuring that older people have loved ones nearby and supportive,” she said.

Other recommendations from the report include keeping the city’s emergency plans up-to-date; ensuring that resources, staff and professionals are available to respond to emergencies; and communicating clearly with citizens during crises. including taking.

Drouin was also asked to consider whether mandatory masks should be returned as the state grapples with flooding emergency rooms again. This time, it’s a cocktail of influenza and respiratory viruses that are to blame, many of which affect children.

Like the Medical College of Quebec, Drouin recommended wearing masks in crowded places, but did not go so far as to call for a government decree.

She said she doesn’t support the reinstatement of mask mandates in schools because evidence shows that most transmission occurs after school and on weekends. It’s not possible, she said, but children with symptoms can ask to wear masks in class.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Francois Legault said it was “out of the question” for the government to impose new mask mandates in public spaces in the short term.

State health ministers and public health directors are expected to hold a press conference on Wednesday to encourage rather than mandate masks.

Models suggest that the current flu and respiratory virus surge will probably peak in late December, around the Christmas holidays, Drouin said.

Morgan Raleigh

canadian press