Mid May 2021
NEW CASES ARRIVING DAILY
Variants show Canada must tighten border restrictions
It’s still just a variant of interest, not one of concern yet, but health officials in Ottawa and London Ont., have sounded the alarm about recent cases of the B1.617 variant showing up in their communities.
That’s the double variant first discovered in India in March and first reported in Canada in April.
Ottawa’s chief medical officer, Dr. Vera Etches, reported three cases of this variant two weeks ago with all three cases related to International travel. Two of the cases stayed in Ottawa while the third made its way to the GTA.
The case in London was also related to International travel.
So much for the claims that the border isn’t an issue.
In total there have been 38 identified of the B1.617 variant cases registered with Public Health Ontario.
Of those, 37 have been linked to international travel and one is still being investigated.
Given the lax quarantine rules existing in Canada, it’s only a matter of time before there is a community spread of this variant.
That’s what happened in December with the B.1.1.7 variant that was first discovered in the U.K.
It came into Canada via travel and then despite our quarantine rules, began spreading in the community. That variant now accounts for roughly 90% of all Covid-19 cases in Ontario.
The new double mutant variant will also spread this way as will other variants unless we fix the current system.
According to data from the Public Health Agency of Canada, about 27% of people who test positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Canada via aircraft, do so on the test they conduct at home on Day 8 or 10. That means those people are at home, most often with family members or roommates who are still going to work or otherwise heading out into the community.
This is how we get community spread – it’s how it happened in December and how it will happen now. While most people think quarantine means some sort of isolation, that’s not true.
It is also not true that only Canadian citizens are allowed into the country.
The list of exceptions is long and the idea that the Trudeau Liberals have banned non-essential travel is ridiculous.
Yes, travel is down significantly, but it isn’t shut down and it’s still contributing to new cases and new variants.
Two weeks ago we found out that between Feb. 22 and April 29th, 5159 people who arrived in Canada via air travel had tested positive for Covid-19. That is just at the four airports in Canada taking international flights. We don’t know about the land border because the Public Health Agency of Canada won’t release the data. They either don’t have the information, which they absolutely should, or they won’t release it because it will be embarrassing to the government.
With more than 192,000 people crossing into the land border in a single week in April, we need to be concerned.
If land crossers have the same positivity rates as air travelers – 1.5% – 2.26%, then we’re importing between 2800 and 4300 new cases per week.
If we have any hope of getting ahead of Covid-19 before another variant takes hold, then the Trudeau government needs to tighten up who can enter Canada and toughen up their quarantine rules.
This needs to happen at least until we can get enough people vaccinated.
It’s that or prepare now for the fourth wave.
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