Quebec’s public health director Horacio Arruda resigns amid latest COVID-19 wave

Quebec’s public health director, Dr. Horacio Arruda, has resigned after serving as the province’s top health official in the entire province. COVID-19 pandemic.

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Arruda tendered his resignation Monday in a letter to Prime Minister Francois Legault, which the Prime Minister accepted, according to his office.

In the letter, Arruda said he gave the best of himself in helping the province lead its response to the COVID-19 crisis, but recent comments about the credibility of his and his team’s advice “raise the trust and have affected the public’s adhesion”.

“In this context, I deem it appropriate to offer you the opportunity to replace me before my term of office expires, at least as director of public health,” Arruda wrote in part.

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He goes on to defend his work, but says the advice and recommendations he put forth were “the best possible” amid “a context of uncertainty and rapid advancement of knowledge”.

Arruda writes that he would like to continue serving Quebecers in another public health role, but wants to give the prime minister a chance to make a final decision.

“Do not see this as giving up my role, but rather as an offer for you to re-evaluate the situation, after several waves and in the context of a constantly evolving situation,” the letter reads in French.

Arruda served as public health director for nearly 12 years, but became one of the most visible faces of the COVID-19 pandemic in Quebec, which saw more deaths than any other province — along with some of the toughest public health measures to contain the virus. to checkers.

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One of those measures was a curfew to restrict public gatherings, which was reintroduced a day before New Year’s Eve, along with a host of other restrictions as the highly transmissible Omicron variant leads to record numbers and hospitalizations.

More than 2,500 people were hospitalized on Monday after testing positive for COVID-19, a new record for the province.

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The latest measures they have been denounced by businesses and civil rights groups, but lauded when necessary by health experts, expires Jan. 17 unless the county decides to extend them.

Arruda’s replacement has not yet been announced. Legault’s office said the prime minister will discuss the resignation at 1 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

—With files by Gloria Henriquez


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