More than 1,000 Canadian soldiers to help out in Quebec's COVID-19-ravaged seniors' homes by Thursday

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan says as of Thursday, the Canadian Armed Forces will have 1,020 personnel committed to 20 long-term care homes in Quebec.

He says that includes 670 medical and support staff inside the facilities, as well as 350 members providing outside support such as delivering personal protective equipment.

On Wednesday, there were 760 soldiers who came to lend a hand to help in Quebec, including between 500 and 550 directly in 13 establishments in the Greater Montreal region, the epicentred of COVID-19 in Canada.

Sajjan says by mid-May, more than 1,350 Forces members will be helping in 25 of the province's long-term care homes, or CHSLDs, which have been hit hard by the pandemic.

There are also 265 Forces personnel assisting at five facilities in Ontario.

Canadian Forces members are also helping in rural and remote regions doing contact tracing, medical equipment delivery and other tasks.

With the military deployment, Ottawa fulfills a call for help from Quebec about two weeks after Premier Francois Legault's government made the request.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on May 7, 2020.

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