UPDATE: After this story was printed, the Canadian authorities introduced a ban on passenger flights from India and Pakistan for 30 days.
As world COVD-19 case counts hit new data, strain is mounting on the Canadian authorities to do extra on the borders to cease the unfold of the virus — and new variants from getting into the nation.
Requires extra motion are rising because the B.1.617 variant, first detected in India — which is being described as a “double mutant” — has now made its method to Canada.
On Wednesday, British Columbia confirmed 39 circumstances of the variant, whereas Quebec recorded its first case.
COVID-19 variant first detected in India present in Canada. What we all know up to now
MPs on Thursday unanimously agreed Canada ought to droop worldwide flights from international locations the place COIVD-19 outbreaks are raging.
Earlier within the day, Conservative Chief Erin O’Toole known as on the federal authorities to briefly droop flights from hotspot international locations instantly.
“This can purchase us time to develop a transparent set of parameters for figuring out the dangers of rising variants and sharing this data clearly with Canadians,” he mentioned.
And Ontario’s authorities has been “pleading” with the federal authorities to ban flights from India and different hot-spot international locations.
O’Toole argues Canada wants stricter border measures to struggle in opposition to COVID-19 variants
However some consultants say banning worldwide journey isn’t that straightforward, and isn’t essentially the answer to curbing the unfold of COVID-19.
“I don’t suppose we have to ban worldwide journey,” Ananya Banerjee, assistant professor on the college of inhabitants and world well being at McGill College, instructed World Information.
“What we want is common entry to testing and upon arrival to locations the place persons are arriving from India,” she mentioned. “I feel persons are very well-equipped now to know the significance of quarantining. So I don’t suppose we have to ban flights. The fact is India and Canada are very interconnected.”
Biden says U.S. plans to supply Canada further COVID-19 vaccines in future
Ontario studies practically 3,700 new COVID-19 circumstances, 40 deaths as ICU sufferers surpass 800
Gigi Gronvall, senior scholar on the Johns Hopkins Heart for Well being Safety, mentioned journey restrictions are “sophisticated” as a result of they are often so broad.
“What we actually have to be doing is ramping up throughout the board vaccine efforts and in addition encouraging individuals to do what they know that they need to be doing with regards to stopping transmission,” she instructed World Information.
Deputy Chief Public Well being Officer Dr. Howard Njoo mentioned in a vaccine replace Wednesday that it’s “virtually not possible” to maintain COVID-19 variants overseas and the following day instructed reporters that controlling neighborhood transmission is extra essential.
“We all know that the proportion of COVID circumstances imported into the nation may be very low, after we have a look at what is usually occurring within the nation with neighborhood transmission,” he mentioned throughout a technical briefing Thursday.
“So we have to be conscious that, sure, what we’re doing on the borders is essential. We have to proceed monitoring the state of affairs, slowing down importation. What’s much more essential is what we do within the nation inside provinces and territories with neighborhood transmission.”
India posts world’s highest every day COVID-19 surge with over 314,000 new circumstances
In an interview with World Information Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau indicated the federal authorities is further COVID-19 measures to guard worldwide borders — however received’t cease flights into Canada from India, which recorded a report every day case surge on Thursday.
That features 32 flights from India, 20 from the US, and 10 every from France and the United Arab Emirates.
Within the final two weeks alone, 112 worldwide flights arrived in Canada with not less than one passenger who later examined optimistic for COVID-19, in accordance with Well being Canada information.
That features 32 flights from India and 20 from U.S.
Infectious illnesses specialist Isaac Bogoch instructed World Information something to additional cut back the variety of COVID-19 circumstances coming into the nation is a optimistic step.
“There’s a lot of measures that may be taken,” he mentioned. “It’s essential to ask ourselves: what’s the precise aim right here if you wish to zero circumstances of COVID coming into the nation?
“I’m not saying to do that, however one of many choices is simply cease the flights. Is that sensible? Will that ever be achieved? I don’t know. However that’s one measure.”
At present, all travellers getting into Canada are topic to COVID-19 entry screening, no matter which nation they’re arriving from or how. Anybody coming into Canada should isolate for 14 days if they’ve signs of COVID-19. And, until exempt, they have to quarantine for 14 days if they don’t have signs.
“Even with every of these boundaries, there are workarounds,” Bogoch mentioned.
“However I feel it’s additionally essential to acknowledge that they most likely do shield us in opposition to quite a lot of imported circumstances. How way more will we wish to squeeze these guidelines? I feel that’s clearly a giant determination for our federal leaders.”
— With information from The Canadian Press, and World Information’ Saba Aziz and Twinkle Ghosh
View hyperlink »
© 2021 World Information, a division of Corus Leisure Inc.