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

COVID-19 cases grow to 13 at B.C. First Nation near Fort St. James

“This is very serious,” says Nak’azdli Whut’en Chief

Rumours of Air Canada backing off Oct. 1 flight resumption unfounded

The airline and airport are preparing for return of scheduled traffic

Ecosocialists nominate candidate for Stikine

Edward Quinlan is the new party’s regional director for Skeena and Bulkley Valley regions

Minor parties scramble to get candidates nominated for Stikine

Taylor wants to be Christian Heritage Party candidate, Repen makes bid to represent Rural BC Party

Local M.D. urges keeping social bubbles to six

“This situation is happening in our own communities:” Dr. Kate Niethammer

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

2 British Columbians arrested, 3 at large in massive Alberta drug bust

Eight people are facing 33 charges in what police have dubbed Project Incumbent

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Liberals reach deal with NDP on COVID-19 aid bill, likely averting election

NDP and the Liberals have reached an agreement on COVID-19 sick-leave

Most Read