Quebec's top public health official Dr. Horacio Arruda took a 12-day trip to Morocco during the initial outbreak of COVID-19 in the province.
According to La Presse:
“The national director of public health left Quebec for Marrakech on Wednesday February 26 and was back from vacation on Sunday March 8 in Montreal.
Voices are rising in the political class to wonder whether this prolonged absence, at a turning point of the coronavirus pandemic, illustrates the blindness of the Legault government, in January and February, when the virus spread already around the world.”
Four days after returning to Quebec, the province's Prime Minister François Legault and Dr. Arruda installed a mandatory 14-day isolation for “all people returning from abroad.”
Dr. Arruda did not observe any quarantine,
In late March, Global News called the doctor “a source of comfort” and “Quebec’s national treasure during these difficult times”:
“Every day at 1 p.m., Quebecers flock to their TV screens to receive updates on the novel coronavirus pandemic that is sweeping the world and la belle province.
But even those who are less inclined to watch the news impatiently wait to watch Dr. Arruda’s next meme-able move. His optimism, charisma, passionate hand gestures and detailed examples allow a wide audience to not only understand the implications of the virus, but get a little chuckle as well.”
Since the start of the outbreak, more than 20,000 Quebeckers have recovered from the disease and at least 5,105 people died. As of yesterday, there were 871 active infections being treated in Quebec hospitals.