Quebec has reached a grim milestone as more than 5,000 people have died during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The province, which leads Canada, recorded an additional 45 fatalities on Tuesday, bringing the death toll to 5,029.

“I want to offer my sympathies to the families of these victims,” said Premier François Legault during his daily briefing.

Quebec has 53,185 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, after 138 new infections were reported from the previous day.

However, the number of hospitalizations has declined to 961 and patients in intensive care dropped to 117.

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READ MORE: Quebec allows small interior gatherings, Montreal restaurants given green light to reopen

Legault said the patterns of daily numbers are encouraging, but Quebecers must continue respecting public health guidelines in order not to trigger a second wave of infections.

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“We have to restart the economy without restarting the pandemic,” he said.

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