Quebec’s health-care network missing 9,500 workers amid coronavirus crisis, premier says

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Quebec’s premier issued an impassioned plea to the thousands of health-care workers absent from the province’s health network as the number of deaths and cases of the novel coronavirus pandemic continue to climb.

François Legault said on Thursday that of the 9,500 employees absent from work, about 4,000 were diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. He is asking all workers who are not in quarantine and are able to return to work to do so.

“We need you,” he said during his daily briefing.

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The province has enough personal protective equipment and has implemented clear directives to help keep front-line workers safe, he added.

READ MORE: Human rights complaint lodged over treatment of Quebec’s long-term care residents

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In Quebec, the death toll has risen to 1,243 after 109 new fatalities were reported on Thursday. Legault said the majority of victims lived in long-term care homes.

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He said the government is focused on finding extra personnel for those facilities,

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