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"What Canada must learn from its flawed COVID-19 response"

Posted by Kairos 
"What Canada must learn from its flawed COVID-19 response"
May 16, 2020 07:25PM
Border measures are only one layer of the response to a frightening new pathogen. The other is a once-unimaginable shutdown of public life. But that misstep allowed the virus to gain a foothold, experts say. “Canada’s initial lack of a robust border policy or mandated supervised quarantine program for both incoming travellers and contacts of documented cases has impaired our ability to contain the epidemic here,” Peter Phillips, a clinical professor medicine in the division of infectious diseases at the University of British Columbia wrote in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. The early response trailed the evidence. It wasn’t until the end of March that Canada began enforcing 14-day quarantines for any person entering Canada by air, sea or land, whether or not they had symptoms of COVID-19. On April 7, Tam tweeted that studies from several countries had now demonstrated pre-symptomatic virus spread was, indeed, occurring, and more often than previously thought.

“In retrospect, we could have closed the USA border earlier, and restricted all incoming flights to Canada to a handful of airports earlier, descending upon those airports with overwhelming public health powers,” including mandatory testing and quarantining of all travellers from China and Europe, University of Ottawa global health epidemiologist Raywat Deonandan wrote in an email. Preventing people from going abroad for March Break also could have helped.



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