MONTREAL -- The medical world is adapting to the outbreak of COVID-19. General practitioners in Quebec will be able to conduct consultations by telephone or virtually as of Monday, in order to expose medical staff and patients less to the new coronavirus.

The Fédération des médecins omnipraticiens du Québec (FMOQ) informed its members around noon that they will be able to do so as of 4 p.m. Monday.

Doctors have been encouraged to use the practice as much as possible, both in clinics and institutions, especially for long-term care, added the Federation.

This policy was agreed upon by the FMOQ and the government.

Regular follow-ups, which do not necessarily require a physical examination can, therefore, for a certain time, be carried out without a physical visit.

It is up to the doctor to judge, on a case by case basis, if a physical examination is necessary or if he can proceed without the patient needing to be seen.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Mar. 16, 2020.