The rapidly growing number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 coronavirus in Canada is prompting the Government of Canada to consider additional protective measures, including closing down its borders to international travellers. Canadian citizens are encouraged to go home while they still can.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with US President Donald Trump over the phone after American aviation authorities said that they were considering grounding all domestic flights.
The spread of COVID-19 coronavirus is triggering closures that are meant to protect the general population from being infected.
The newest measures taken by public health officials in the provinces of Québec and Ontario restrict visitors to long-term care facilities.
Québec’s premier Francois Legault encouraged residents over 70 years old to stay indoors until further notice, and announced a province wide ban on visitors to hospitals and long-term care facilities.
Ontario’s Chief Medical Office of Health Dr. David Williams encouraged long-term care facilities in that province to ban all but essential visitors.
Williams defined essential visitors as relatives of someone terminally ill or relatives of a sick child or youth.
”GO HOME WHILE YOU STILL CAN”
Global Affairs Canada is encouraging Canadians overseas to make immediate plans to go home while they still have the chance to do so.
Countries all over the world are imposing travel restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus in their jurisdictions.
The Government of Canada had previously encouraged Canadians to postpone or cancel non-essential travel abroad.
Global Affairs Canada sent an email to registered Canadians stating that: “Airlines have cancelled flights. New restrictions may be imposed with little warning. Your travel plans may be severely disrupted and you may be forced to remain outside of Canada longer than expected. Find out what commercial options are still available to return to Canada. Consider returning to Canada earlier than planned if these options are becoming more limited.”
The province of Ontario remains the epicentre of Canada’s outbreak of COVID-19 coronavirus.
The Government of Canada opened a COVID-19 assessment centre in the capital city of Ottawa, where hundreds of people were turned away because they failed to meet the testing criteria.
Those who didn’t have a cough or fever, or had not travelled out of Canada, nor were in contact with any confirmed cases were turned away.
British Columbia’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Bonnie Henry said that their province is finding itself struggling with the sheer number of tests being conducted.
She said that most people do not require a test, and that the limited number of testing kits available must be used for those who need it.
RISK TO CANADIANS REMAINS LOW
Canadian public health officials continue to maintain that the risk to the public remains low, and stress that frequent hand washing and social distancing will help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Most people infected with COVID-19 will suffer mild to moderate symptoms, including fever and cough. The majority of those infected are expected to make a full recovery.
Advisories have been made, warning Canadians that those over 65 years old, and with compromised immune systems as well as people with pre-existing medical conditions can experience much more severe symptoms.
Only 15% of Canadians infected with COVID-19 has so far required hospitalization.
Schools have been closed for two weeks after the March Break, with concerts and other large scale public events cancelled all across Canada.
The Government of Canada has introduced multimillion-dollar stimulus packages designed to keep the Canadian economy afloat.
The Canadian Parliament has also been suspended until April 20, 2020.
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