Canada eyes policy on travel from India due to massive outbreak

Modesto Morganelli
Апреля 22, 2021

Canada's top public health doctor says the federal government is looking into flights arriving from India amid reports that a massive surge of COVID-19 cases is ravaging that country.

"This will buy us time to develop a clear set of parameters for identifying the risks of emerging variants and sharing this information clearly with Canadians", said O'Toole.

But she says India could be a special case due to a "variant of interest" there that may be fuelling a massive outbreak of COVID-19.

But rather than banning travel from nations where variants have emerged, Tam said Canada has mostly opted to take a broader approach, instituting "layers of protection" against travellers from all countries.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says it's under consideration in Canada, and travel restrictions are already in place in some countries.

This comes ahead of a vaccine update from federal officials. As of April 11, a total of 104 million vaccine doses had been administered, the World Health Organization said.

The situation in India has been deteriorating amid the second wave of coronavirus infections. The effort to test and vaccinate residents is floundering, and bodies are piling up at morgues and crematoriums.

With the words "Secure the border" plastered behind him, Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole urged Canada to temporarily suspend all flights from COVID-19 hotspots. The U.K. added the country to its "red list" on Monday, banning most travel.

While B.C. has announced restrictions on non-essential travel within the province, and said it plans to put signs at the Alberta border asking people to stay home, there have been no restrictions placed on air travel in B.C.

But the discovery in B.C. of a variant of COVID-19 associated with India has some wondering whether the flight rules need to be changed for the time being.

Canada has suspected flights to and from other countries in the past.

He specifically mentions Brazil and India, saying the government has failed to take the appropriate measures to prevent new, highly contagious variants first detected in those countries from entering ours.

The variant is B.1.6.1.7, and unlike others associated with the U.K., South Africa and Brazil, it is not now considered a variant of concern.

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