By John Vennard and Daniel TullyKey points:The virus is spreading at a high rate in Quebec and the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and ManitobaThe government says it’s a “bizarre situation” but it won’t rule out a second wave of the pandemicThe federal government has issued a “clear and immediate order” to provinces to suspend importation of the virus for three weeks to limit the spread, CBC News has learned.
The government said it has taken the “necessary measures” to protect the public and that the virus will “spread and spread.”
The virus has been spreading at an alarming rate in the provinces of Quebec and Manitoba.
A “significant” number of people in those provinces are sick and suffering from respiratory and neurological symptoms, including severe cold, according to the Canadian Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.
More than 1,000 people have been confirmed as infected with the coronavirus in Quebec alone, according the CFDA.
“Quebec has been very proactive in the past few weeks, and has responded very quickly,” Public Health Minister Yasir Naqvi said Monday.
“We have taken the necessary measures and have been in close contact with provincial governments, including Quebec.”
“We’re also taking actions in Manitoba, which is a province with a significant population of people affected by this pandemic,” he said.
Canada has already been forced to temporarily suspend the importation, export and distribution of the coronabisys vaccine and the country’s public health agency said it would not be able to continue to do so indefinitely.
“We’ll be reviewing our actions in order to determine if we need to take any further action to continue the supply of the vaccine,” said Dr. Catherine Coulombe, the CFAD’s director of public affairs.
“The government will provide further details about this next week when we release a briefing to the government.”
While the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said Monday it has not had any reports of health problems, the agency was “very concerned” about the spread of the disease.
“This virus has become so virulent, we are seeing increased cases, we have a high number of reported deaths and we are not getting a lot of information about the health impact of the spread,” said CFIA director of regulatory affairs Peter Faucher.
The CFDA said it will release its own report on the spread and effects of the outbreak later this week.
The agency said there is no immediate threat to Canadians, but the spread could be serious.
The federal and provincial governments say they are monitoring the situation closely, and will take action if necessary.
“It is clear that the situation is evolving,” said the prime minister’s office.
“I would not go so far as to say there is an immediate threat, but I would say there’s a significant risk.”
A spokesperson for the Department of Health said Canada has been working closely with the provinces to contain the spread.
“In the coming days, we will have a briefing on the threat to the public, our actions and the response,” said Public Health Canada spokesperson Erin O’Toole.
“As the health of Canadians and the health and safety of Canadians is paramount, we want to ensure that Canadians can continue to be able access the health care services that they need.”
The Canadian Press