By Gordon Lambie
Quebec’s Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS) is warning the public to be vigilant when it comes to the VaxiCode and VaxiCode Verif mobile applications used to store and read people’s vaccine passports after fake versions were found to be in circulation.
According to a press release issued by the MSSS, people have copied the visual developed for the VaxiCode application and have succeeded in having these fake applications approved for download on Google Play. As soon as the MSSS was made aware of this situation, steps were taken with Google to have the bogus applications removed.
Although this situation does not impact the security of the legitimate applications, this type of fake app is an increasingly common tool in identity theft.
The MSSS is therefore reminding the public that the name of the application for storing vaccine passport documents should be named “VaxiCode” with that exact spelling, and the name of the reader app should be VaxiCode Verif. In neither case should there be additional words or accents in the name. Both apps ask only for access to the camera and image files on a mobile device and nothing else, and neither should have any ads. Similarly any app that does not allow one to upload their QR code should be considered illegitimate.
The Province of Quebec reported 719 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday which, added to the 701 new cases recorded Friday and 795 on Saturday, made for an overall increase of 2,215 cases since the last report in The Record. This brings the total number of people who have contracted the virus in the province since the start of the pandemic to 407,943.
As of Friday there were 6,478 active cases across the province
There were two new deaths reported Sunday which, added to the two deaths recorded Friday and five deaths recorded Saturday brings the total since the start of the pandemic to 11,356.
As of Sunday’s report there were 297 people in hospital for reasons related to COVID-19 across the province, 90 of whom were in intensive care.
In the Eastern Townships there were 283 active cases of COVID-19 as of the detailed report published on Friday, with the region having picked up 118 new cases in the time between last Tuesday and Friday. Those cases could be found across all regions of the Townships, with 107 in Sherbrooke, 68 in the Haute-Yamaska, 26 in the Des Sources region (around the town formerly known as Asbestos), 22 in La Pommeraie, 19 in Granit, 18 in the Val-Saint-François, 15 in Memphrémagog, seven in the Haut-Saint-François and, for the first time in several weeks, one case in the Coaticook region.
There was one new death linked to the virus, bringing the total number of Covid-related deaths in the region to 357. There were 11 people in hospital due to the virus on Friday, seven of whom were in intensive care.
The next detailed update on the spread of COVID-19 in the Townships is expected on Tuesday.
Vaccination in the Townships has reached 85.4 per cent of the eligible population for a first dose and 81.5 per cent for a second. Across the province those figures have now reached 89 per cent for a first dose and 84 per cent for a second.