Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Sunday said he would not rule out closing the nation’s borders or forcing people arriving from abroad to go into self-isolation to help combat a coronavirus outbreak.
Asked whether Canada might shut its frontiers to Europe or the United States, Trudeau told CTV: “We have taken some very strong measures and we are not taking anything off the table.”
So far at least 249 Canadians have tested positive and one person has died.
Canada’s public health agency on Sunday posted an advert for nurses, citing “an urgent need.”
Nurses were needed to manage and control communicable diseases and make determinations about the risk to public health posed by foreign visitors, it said.
1/8 March 15: there are 313 #COVID19 cases in 🇨🇦, with 10 provinces now reporting a case. With the recent rapid⬆️in cases, Canada’s window to #FlattentheCurve is closing. The time for all Cdns to act is now. #doyourpart
— Dr. Theresa Tam (@CPHO_Canada) March 15, 2020
The premier of Quebec, Canada’s second most populous province, called on Trudeau to seal off the country.
“It’s not a good idea to continue attracting foreign tourists to Canada,” Francois Legault told reporters on Sunday.
Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, called for strong action – such as avoiding large public gatherings – to fight the spread of the virus.
“With cases rapidly increasing in Canada … our window to flatten the curve of the epidemic is narrowing,” she told reporters. Tam said it was not time to declare a national public health emergency, noting most cases involved people who had been abroad.
“That situation could change very quickly,” she said.
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