Chief Public Health Officer of Canada Dr. Theresa Tam participates in a press conference following the announcement by the Government of Ontario of the first presumptive confirmed case of a novel coronavirus in Canada, in Ottawa, on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

No travel ban, temperature checks for Wuhan travellers as coronavirus spreads to Canada

One Toronto man is recovering after being infected

The federal government is not considering a travel ban or checking temperatures for travellers coming from the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak in China.

Speaking in Ottawa on Sunday morning, chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam said the government is confident about their current infection protocol to control the spread of the virus.

Tam said three airports – Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal – will continue to inform passengers via on-screen messages about the risk of coronavirus. Travellers coming from Wuhan are being asked to “let border agents know if they are sick after travelling to the affected areas.” Border agents will perform preliminary checks, Tam said, and pass possibly infected passengers to the Public Health Agency of Canada for further screening.

Around 2,000 people have gotten sick with the coronavirus in China, and at least 56 have died, since the outbreak began in Wuhan. The U.S. has confirmed cases in Washington state, Chicago, and most recently Southern California.

Canada’s first confirmed case was a man in his 50s from Toronto, who had been in Wuhan before travelling back to the country. Tam said he came to Pearson Airport in Toronto via China Southern Airlines Flight CZ311 from Guangzhou.

“That person reported to local health authorities according to information he was provided at the airport,” Tam said.

She said that neither a travel ban nor temperature checks made sense at this time, with the World Health Organization declining to call the coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency at this time.

“Based on our experience, just doing temperature checks on every single person coming off the plane is not effective,” Tam said.

Tam said health officials will be monitoring the Toronto man’s family and friends, and has contacted those who were within a two-metre radius of the man on the flight.

According to the federal government, coronavirus symptoms include arunny nose, headache, cough, sore throat, fever, a general feeling of being unwell. In severe cases, coronavirus infections can cause SARS and MERS, which can lead to pneumonia, respiratory failure, kidney failure, or even death.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey RCMP looking for ‘distraction theft’ suspect

Suspect allegedly tried to swipe a man’s necklace while giving him a hug

Cloverdale automobile shop offers to pick up, service, and drop off vehicles

Surrey’s Visscher-Pau Automotive starts ‘Blue Glove’ valet service, will cover Cloverdale, Langley, Newton, Fleetwood, and Hazelmere

1,000 food hampers packed for delivery to students of Surrey’s inner-city schools

City Dream Centre-led initiative involved volunteer effort at Horizon Church in Newton

Surrey councillor wants property taxes deferred to December

Linda Annis is expected to present notice of motion to that effect at April 6 “virtual” council meeting

Person found dead after apartment fire in White Rock

Crews called to Foster Street complex at 7:30 a.m. Monday

As 240K apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

Wearing non-medical masks can stop spread of COVID-19 before symptoms start: Tam

Health officials had previously not recommended wearing them

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Introverted and extroverted kids likely to react differently to COVID-19 restrictions

B.C. child psychologist says your parenting approach can’t be one-size fits all in social isolation

B.C. begins taking submissions for $2M COVID-19 research fund

Rural health, impact of shifting hospital resources among priorities

Easter Bunny not a COVID-19 carrier, allowed to do drop offs

World Health Organization grants permission to Bunny as he cannot transfer the virus

Most Read