Quebec ramps up testing in bid to contain coronavirus

In Quebec, new centres for COVID-19 testing are opening on Tuesday in a bid to contain the novel coronavirus.

Health Minister Danielle McCann said the centres will allow for more than 6,000 tests to be conducted per day, up from 1,600.

Quebec’s health ministry confirmed there were 50 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus virus, as of Monday afternoon.

There are nearly 3,073 people who are awaiting test results, and more than 3,000 tests have come back negative.

A student from Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf in Montreal and a student from Université Laval have reportedly been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus. Both schools made the announcement on late Monday.

As the number of novel cononavirus cases continues to rise, the province’s National Assembly will be closed as of Wednesday until April 21.

Quebec Premier François Legault will provide an update on the province’s response to the outbreak on Tuesday afternoon. The government is also planning to roll out more initiatives to help businesses and individuals taking a financial hit due to COVID-19.

The province has been ramping up measures to combat the virus since late last week. This includes shuttering schools, banning large indoor gatherings and ordering the closure of cinemas, bars and other non-essential services.

On Monday, the government announced financial aid to support workers who must self-isolate and do not have access to federal employment insurance.

In Montreal, local health-care workers and police officers have been dispatched to the airport. They are informing passengers arriving from abroad about COVID-19 symptoms and urging them to self-isolate.

The plan comes as Canada announced it is closing its borders to foreign travellers, with the exception of U.S. citizens.

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