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

City of Terrace calling on Province to take stricter social distancing measures

The City sent the Province a letter earlier this month with a number of recommendations

Northern Health preparing ‘for a changing situation’ in response to COVID-19

The health authority is taking a number of measures to free up hospital capacity where possible

Rio Tinto donates masks to Kitimat RCMP officers

Providing safety glasses as well

B.C. COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

’Not out of the woods yet’ as next two weeks are critical

Northwest Regional Airport says ridership extremely low amid COVID-19

The airport has enacted enhanced sanitary measures and reduced flights

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

B.C. VIEWS: Small businesses need our help

Just as integral in neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Surrey as they are in Prince George or Kelowna

‘Tremendous’ response from blood donors has supply keeping pace with demand

About 400,000 of Canada’s 37 million residents give blood on a regular basis

Morning world update: Cases surge past 600,000; positive news in Germany

Spain suffers its deadliest day as Germany considers April 20 to possibly loosen restrictions

Most Read