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

Mid-Isle Soccer’s Girl Power program empowers girls to build their dreams

Girl Power celebrated Canadian soccer sta, Christine Sinclair’s new world record for career goals

Council approves two retail cannabis stores for Ladysmith

Their applications are now in the hands of the provincial government

Ladysmith Heritage Awards honour commitments to preserving local history

Four awards were given at the first ever Ladysmith Heritage Awards ceremony

Exclusive: Pamela Anderson talks plans for waterfront Ladysmith property after 12-day marriage

Anderson says she can pay her own bills. Peters denies making comments suggesting she can’t

UPDATE – Chemainus Secondary School fire being investigated as suspicious

Classes cancelled Friday due to ongoing investigation and damage

VIDEO: 2020 BC Winter Games wrap up in Fort St. John as torch passes to Maple Ridge

More than 1,000 athletes competed in the 2020 BC Winter Games

Massive early-morning blaze destroys Vancouver Island home

Firefighters from three departments called in to battle fire at unoccupied residence

Still six cases of COVID-19 in B.C. despite reports of Air Canada passenger: ministry

Health ministry wouldn’t comment on specific flight routes

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

VIDEO: Wounded Warrior Run leaves Port Hardy on eight-day trek down Vancouver island

The team’s fundraising goal this year is $250,000, which is double last year’s goal.

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

B.C. money laundering inquiry to begin amid hopes for answers, accountability

Eby argued that most B.C. residents already know the previous government, at best, turned a blind eye

Most Read