Quebec requests 1,000 soldiers to help in long-term care homes hit hard by coronavirus pandemic

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Quebec Premier François Legault is asking for at least 1,000 soldiers from the Canadian Armed Forces to assist in long-term care facilities hit hard by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The request comes as the province grapples to contain outbreaks in overburdened and understaffed nursing homes.

Legault said that hundreds of health-care professionals have answered the call to help but that more assistance is needed, and that’s why he is asking for more help from the military.

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“It’s not ideal,” said Legault during his daily briefing. “But at the same time I think it will help us to have more arms to carry out tasks that are not medical.”

READ MORE: Local Montreal charities in desperate need of help during pandemic

Quebec’s death toll has mounted to 1,134 as of Wednesday. There are 20,965 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, in the province to date.

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The respiratory illness has led to 1,278 hospitalizations, up 55 from the previous day. There are 199 patients in intensive care.

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The majority of fatalities have originated in long-term care centres.

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