Sign up for our newsletter and get a curated list of the top trending stories and exclusive rewards every day.

Trending Topics

Get the MTL Blog app

Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Quebec Adds More Countries To Observation List For COVID-19 & PHAC Recommends Precautions

There has been "community spread" in these countries.
Quebec Adds More Countries To Surveillance List For COVID-19 & PHAC Recommends Precautions

As of 3 p.m. on Tuesday, February 25, 2020, there are still no confirmed cases of coronavirus COVID-19 in Quebec, despite the recent Montreal Trudeau airport layover of a passenger from Iran who was confirmed as the sixth case to be infected after she landed in Vancouver, B.C. Canada-wide, there are currently 11 confirmed cases of the virus, including four cases in Ontario and seven in B.C. In Quebec, there are currently seven individuals under investigation and 52 cases that have been invalidated or analyzed as negative.

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) still considers the risk to public health in Canada associated with COVID-19 as low. 

Still, due to the uncertain nature of the virus when it comes to the spread between humans, PHAC has issued new travel health notices regarding certain countries that have shown a heightened risk of infection due to the rising number of cases of COVID-19.

Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore were added to the travel health notice list this week but remain at a Level 1 risk, with PHAC advising travellers to "practise usual precautions." 

But Northern Italy, Iran, and South Korea have all been upped to a Level 2 risk with PHAC advising travellers to "practise special precautions." 

As of February 25, Santé Quebec now also includes these countries on its own "list of countries under increased observation" for infection risk.

PHAC notes that in Italy, "cases have been confirmed in multiple regions in the north of the country. Sustained community spread of the virus is being reported. This means it is unknown how or where some people became infected, and the spread is ongoing."

In Iran, "the extent of the spread is currently unclear," but the same community spread that has been seen in Italy is also present in Iran, meaning the source of the spread is unknown.

PHAC also notes that "Iranian New Year will be celebrated on March 20, 2020. Around this holiday, travel within Iran may increase."

READ ALSO: Officials Are Seeking Quebec Flight Passengers Who May Have Been Exposed To COVID-19

In South Korea, "cases have been confirmed in all provinces and sustained community spread of the virus is being reported."

At this time, PHAC is "not recommending the cancellation or postponement of travel" to Japan, Hong Kong, or Singapore due to the outbreak of COVID-19, but "does recommend usual precautions against respiratory illnesses."

Simple, straight-forward suggestions continue to be the advice for travellers as well as Canadians at home:

Wash your hands often, with soap under warm running water for at least 20 seconds.

PHAC also notes that "spending time in large crowds or crowded areas can increase your risk of getting sick."

Individuals who have a weakened immune system or underlying medical conditions are at a higher risk of developing severe disease. For this reason, PHAC does suggest that "those travellers may want to consider postponing travel."

The Public Health Agency of Canada is actively monitoring the situation and working with the WHO and other international partners to gather additional information. The situation is evolving rapidly.

More from MTL Blog

Comments 💬

Our comment section is a place to promote self-expression, freedom of speech and positivity. We encourage discussion and debate, but our pages must remain a safe space where everyone feels comfortable and the environment is respectful.

In order to make this possible, we monitor comments to keep spam, hate speech, violence, and vulgarity off our pages. Comments are moderated according to our Community Guidelines.

Please note that Narcity Media does not endorse the opinions expressed in the comment section of an article. Narcity Media has the right to remove comments, ban or suspend any user without notice, or close a story’s comment section at any time.

First and last names will appear with each comment and the use of pseudonyms is prohibited. By commenting, you acknowledge that Narcity Media has the right to use & distribute your content across our properties.