The COVID-19 pandemic contributed to a 10 per cent jump in the number of deaths in Quebec in 2020 over the previous year, the province’s statistics agency reported Thursday.
The Institut de la statistique du Quebec noted in its report that 74,550 people died last year in Quebec, which is 6,750 more than in 2019.
The agency said it’s normal for the number of deaths to rise every year because of Quebec’s growing and aging population, but it considers a jump of this magnitude to be “an exception.”
“The rise in the number of deaths in Quebec in 2020 is linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, the effects of which were particularly marked between the end of the month of March and the beginning of the month of June,” the institute wrote on its site.
The number of deaths had risen by about two per cent per year between 2010 and 2019.
The number of COVID-19 deaths in Quebec has continued to rise in recent weeks, even as cases and hospitalizations have been slowly declining. The province reported 39 additional deaths on Thursday, including eight in the past 24 hours.
Hospitalizations declined by 26 to 1,264, while the number of people in intensive care dropped by nine to 212 _ continuing the slow downward trend of the past week.
The province reported 1,368 new COVID-19 cases, contributing to another drop in the seven-day daily average of new cases, which stands at 1,400.
Two deaths were reclassified after an investigation found they were unrelated to COVID-19, which means there have been a total of 9,667 deaths and 258,698 cases in Quebec since the pandemic began.
The province gave 3,767 doses of vaccine on Wednesday, and has used up all but about 5,100 of the 238,100 doses it has received so far.
Quebec is not expected to receive any new doses this week amid a major manufacturer’s slowdown that has interrupted supply across the country.