Manitoba Daily

Friday, January 21, 2022

Concerns about a coronavirus strain have led Canada to ban travelers from southern Africa

Key takeaways:

  • All foreign nationals who have been via southern Africa in the last 14 days will be barred from entering Canada.
  • There are no direct flights from the region to Canada, according to Transport Minister Omar Alghabra.

As concerns about a novel coronavirus variety rise, Canada will restrict all foreign nationals who have traveled through southern Africa from entering the country in the last 14 days.

Individuals who have traveled through southern Africa in the last 14 days and are now in Canada are being asked to quarantine and undergo a COVID-19 test, according to Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos, who spoke at a press conference on Friday.

South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, and Eswatini are involved.

Those people will have to stay in quarantine until they get a negative test result, he said.

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Currently, there are no direct flights from the region to Canada, according to Transport Minister Omar Alghabra.

Canadians and other permanent residents returning to Canada from the region must take a negative COVID-19 test in the third country.

They will also be tested during their arrival in Canada, according to Duclos, and will be quarantined until a negative test is confirmed.

He claims that these people will be placed in quarantine somewhere safe but will be tested again on day eight.

According to Duclos, Global Affairs Canada will also issue a travel alert, advising all Canadians not to travel to southern Africa, who added that the government is “moving promptly to protect Canadians’ health and safety.”

Concerns about a coronavirus strain have led Canada to ban travelers from southern Africa

Laboratories throughout Canada have been “alerted” to the B.1.1.529 variation, according to Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, and have “searched for possible detections.”

“However, no evidence of the variant’s occurrence in Canada has been found to date,” Tam said. “Too far, no cases of this variation have been identified through post-arrival testing of travelers.”

Although the variant is still being examined, Tam described it as “unique” due to many mutations.

“We’re concerned about this new variety and are actively monitoring the evolving situation because of the potential for enhanced transmissibility and increasing resistance to vaccination-induced protection,” she told reporters.

Tam claims it will be “very difficult” to keep the mutation “completely” out of Canada.

“The border is never completely secure, but each tier adds another layer of safety,” she explained.

Although the travel ban presently only applies to seven nations, Alghabra stated that officials would continue to monitor data from around the world and border tests.

“If required, we’ll take more precautionary measures,” he added, adding that officials will “constantly” re-evaluate and re-assess the list of countries affected.

Source: Global News

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