A significantly high number of more than 2,000 flyers returning to Canada after the Canadian government imposed mandatory hotel quarantines have returned positive Covid-19 test results and more than 25% of the infected were infected by variants that could spell trouble for Canada. According to the data published by Public Health Agency of Canada show that between 22nd February and 22nd April of 2021, in a span of 2 months 557 international flyers entering or returning to Canada have tested positive for infections of Covid-19 mutant strains.
Out of the 557 mutant strain infected passengers, 518 were infected by the UK strain – the B.1.1.7 variant, 27 with the B.1.351 strain first identified in South Africa and 12 with a variant P.1 first detected in Brazil. This data was released by the Public Health Agency of Canada to the Canadian Press earlier this week. The B.1.1.7 UK strain is currently the most dominant infection of Covid-19 in Canada.
As of latest reports, Canada now has 95,000 confirmed cases of B.1.1.7 strain Covid-19 infections as well as nearly 600 cases of the B.1.351 strain and nearly 2,000 cases of P.1 strain infection. These new surges in the case count have put opposition parties and the provincial governments urging the centre in Ottawa to take more steps to prevent infected people arriving in Canada. Suggestions of stopping all non-essential travel have also been made to the Federal Government of Canada several times. The Canadian government has already banned travel from countries like India & Pakistan after many flights carrying infected passengers landed in Canada.Sponsored Links
The mutant variations are known to be troublesome to deal with as they have been confirmed to spread more easily, cause severe health problems while being resilient to previously working drugs or treatments. Even the vaccines which have been developed cannot prevent infection from these mutant strains but they do prevent need for hospitalisation in most cases. As the cases in Canada increase, the medical infrastructure is feeling the load as the number of ICUs may not be enough if cases continue to rise at the same rate.
The Public Health Agency of Canada identified a total of 165 flights from 19 different countries between the period of 7th and 24th April with at least one infected passenger on-board each of the 165 flights. Expert epidemiologists (scientists studying cases and working on solving epidemics) believe border control measures are the first step to reduce Covid-19 infections due to infections from other countries, this step is definitely not sufficient to reduce the number of cases but acts as a great barrier while the country can focus its efforts and healthcare on the infected patients within its borders. Employing rapid testing methods and fast, efficient contact tracing are key to containing the spread of the virus strains in Canada.Sponsored Links
Passengers arriving in Canada were required to undergo 14 day hotel quarantine for international passengers since the end of March in 2020 but only since 22nd February this year have passengers been put to spend a minimum of 3 days in designated quarantine hotels. Canada also requires a negative Covid-19 test result to allow passengers to board their flight from other countries into Canada, a negative test result is also required on day 8 after arrival since 23rd April. Nearly 300 people have had to pay a fine of $3,000 for failing to comply with the required Canadian guidelines of quarantining in a hotel upon arrival in the country.
Other countries like New Zealand, Australia, South Korea & Singapore have much lower cases of positive Covid-19 infections as they have strictly enforced a 2 week quarantine period for all travellers upon arrival. This shows that Canada’s 3 day supervised quarantine is not nearly enough as the symptoms may not show up till day 7 or 10 after infection. Prime Minister of Canada Mr. Justin Trudeau defended the policies being followed by his government by stating that most of the travellers arriving in Canada are Canadian residents who cannot be denied entry into the country. It is becoming more and more imperative that local lockdowns are enforced once positive cases are detected to stop the infections from spreading beyond a controllable level.
Recently, in the Perth region of Australia, a hard lockdown was implemented after just 2 cases were reported in the area. Australia has had approximately 30,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 overall which is around 117 infections per 1, 00,000 people. Comparatively, Canada has already crossed 12, 00,000 cases with the infection rate being around 3,200 infected people in 1, 00,000 people. Countries like USA and India to name a few have it much worse in numbers of infection and infection rates so Canada can still act upon the situation to prevent it from worsening.Sponsored Links