MONTREAL -- April 19 update: Quebec reports 72 new COVID-19 deaths as confirmed cases surpass 18,000. READ THE FULL STORY HERE.


A total of 805 people have died of COVID-19 in Quebec as of Saturday, a spike in the number of 117 deaths from the 688 reported in the province the day before.

Confirmed cases in the province have now reached 17,521, an increase of 723 cases from Friday’s total of 16,798.

As of Saturday, 3,315 people have now confirmed to have recovered from the virus.

There are 1,130 people being treated for COVID-19 in Quebec hospitals as of Friday, up 54 from the 1,076 reported Friday; of those in hospital, 258 are in intensive care, a large increase -- of 51 cases -- from the 207 reported a day earlier.

"It should be noted that the number of new deaths disclosed daily does not necessarily correspond to the number of deaths that occurred in the previous 24 hours, in particular due to adjustments made to the data collection method as well as the conclusion of epidemiological surveys requiring more than a day," a news release from the province's health ministry reads.

The health ministry also said the increase in ICU cases can partly be attributed to a new data system which counts intensive care hospitalizations other than in the dedicated unit.

For the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis just over a month ago, there is no daily televised weekend update with Quebec Premier François Legault or any other representative from the Quebec government.

According to one of the scenarios unveiled by public health officials several days ago, this Saturday, April 18 was to mark the peak of this first wave of infections in Quebec.

The projections predicted between 1,263 and 9,000 deaths related to COVID-19 in Quebec and some 29,000 confirmed cases. Fortunately, the reality to date is much better than that, although the number of victims among the elderly in Quebec remains of concern.


With a report from The Canadian Press