Canada’s government, under pressure to suspend flights from India and Brazil over fears about the spread of the coronavirus, could make an announcement on the matter shortly, a senior medical official said on Thursday.
The prime minister Justin Trudeau said earlier this week that officials were studying the example of the UK, which is obliging travellers who have been in India in the past 10 days to spend 10 days in quarantine.
Reuters reports that Dr Howard Njoo, Canada’s deputy chief public health officer, said officials were looking at developments in hot spots such as India and Brazil, where Covid-19 cases are surging.
“I think perhaps we will have an announcement about the border soon,” he told a briefing when asked about a clamp-down on travel from India and Brazil, but did not give details.
Prominent right-leaning politicians complain Trudeau’s center-left Liberal government has not done nearly enough to combat the threat as a third wave of infections rips through Canada, overwhelming healthcare systems.
“The Liberals’ slow and incompetent pandemic response has allowed dangerous Covid variants into Canada. We must temporarily suspend flights from hot spot countries to secure the borders,” said Erin O’Toole, leader of the official opposition Conservative Party.
Trudeau, speaking to Global television on Wednesday night, said community spread rather than international travel continued to be the main concern.
Quebec premier Francois Legault said this week: “We worry about flights coming from countries like India and Brazil.”
The two countries have become the latest epicenter of the pandemic. France is imposing a 10-day quarantine for travellers from Brazil, Chile, Argentina, South Africa and India, while the UAE has suspended all flights from India.