Canadian Covid-19 Response Feb. 2020

Dr. T. Tam, Minister Hajdu, Minister Freeland

Canadian Covid-19 February 2020 Reactions

The following timeline is the abbreviated version published in the Edmonton Journal which can be seen HERE in the progression of the Covid Crisis and Canada's responses along the way. It appears that Dr. Tam is the only one with any real expertise in dealing with this pandemic. The other two ministers training that would equip them to deal with either the medical or economic impacts of this pandemic is not clear.

Feb.1 WHO reports that symptomatic cases are the main driver of transmission. Asymptomatic cases are not considered to be a main driver of transmission of covid-19.

Feb. 1 Prime Minister Trudeau addresses Lunar New Year celebration saying there is no place in Canada for discrimination based on fear and misinformation.

Feb. 2 PM Trudeau assures Canadians the government will do all necessary to keep Canadians safe.

Feb. 3 A Conservative MP asked why Canada was not following other nations taking proactive measures to deal with Covid-19. Minister Hadju replied here in Canada we have very different processes in place than in the US.

Feb. 3 Dr. Tam is asked why Canada isn't taking steps similar to the US which has taken steps to deny entry to people having visited China within the last 14 days. Dr. Tam continues to defend Canada's policy of only screening symptomatic passengers from Hubei province and voluntary self isolation only for sick individuals.

Feb. 3 Dr. Tam is asked what she meant by saying enhanced controls could do more harm than good. Dr. Tam replied that a travel ban could negatively impact a country trying hard to do its best and result in the country not being transparent and open in the future. 

Feb. 3 A Liberal MP was asking Border Services what was being done so as not to promote stigma or discrimination at the border.

Feb. 4 CBC columnist worries outbreak will lead to racism against Asian Canadians.

Feb. 4 Member of WHO blasts China's cover up of viral outbreak as reprehensible.

Feb. 4 Canada's special advisory committee on covid-19 recommends that travelers from Hubei province be asked to voluntarily self isolate for 14 days.

Feb. 7 A doctor in China who was the first to sound the alarm has died from covid-19.

Feb. 7 Taiwan bans travelers from China and Hong Kong.

Feb. 9 Canada expands screening to 10 airports but still relies on voluntary self isolation for symptomatic passengers only.

Feb. 12 Taiwan puts in place a fine of $10,000.00 US for anyone violating home isolation regulations.

Feb. 19 Canada now has 8 confirmed cases with 7 confirmed from China. Between Jan. 22 and Feb. 18, 58,000 travellers arrived in Canada from China — 2,030 of them were coming from Hubei province. Only 68 were assessed by a quarantine officer and only three actually flagged for a medical exam — the other 65 passengers were sent away with a pamphlet.

Feb. 20 Canada confirms it's first case from travel outside of China.

Feb. 20 Minister Hajdu tweets that the risk to Canadians is still low, but if you return from a region with confirmed covid-19, and you are feeling unwell, you should self isolate and notify health officials.

Feb. 26 At health committee an MP asked for explanation of comment made by Dr. Tam that the more countries are infected the less effective and feasible it is to close borders.

Feb. 26 Dr. Njoo Deputy Chief Public Health Officer, insists that Canada is doing well saying there are only 12 cases in the country.

Feb. 26 An MP notes that there is no screening for people coming into the country from Iran.

Feb. 26 An MP asks Dr. Njoo if screening and self isolation Fehas only been for people coming from Hubei province? He says that has been the case.

Feb. 27 A group of 23 Chinese-Canadian doctors sign a open letter urging 14 day quarantine for anyone returning from China and other covid-19 hotspots. 

Feb. 27 A research associate with Foreign affairs magazine criticizes China's response and the WHO's weak response to China's mishandling of the outbreak.

Feb. 29 The WHO continues to advise against travel restrictions to countries experiencing covid-19 outbreaks. In total now 39 countries have reported significant travel restrictions.