Canadians returning from Wuhan, where the coronavirus outbreak originated, will remain in isolation (including from each other) and still need significant support after they arrive, federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu said Monday.
While Hajdu believes Canadians evacuated from Wuhan will be “very grateful to come home,” she noted their return might not be easy. She said many have already endured isolation and low supplies in Wuhan and will have undergone a great deal of stress before they arrive in Canada. The city of 11 million in central China has been under quarantine in an effort to contain the spread of the virus.
The evacuees will also be under mandatory quarantine and observation for 14 days after returning to Canadian soil.
The federal government plans to land a chartered plane in Wuhan to transport Canadian citizens who do not show symptoms to the Canadian Forces Base (CFB) in Trenton. Permanent residents of Canada accompanying Canadian children as their primary caregivers will also be allowed to board the plane.
Passengers will undergo a mandatory exit screening by Chinese authorities before they are allowed in the airport and be screened a second time by Canadian medical personnel before they board the plane.
Earlier Monday, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. David Williams, also cautioned that passengers will need to be monitored for more than just coronavirus.
“We’re trying to set up a process, if they’re going to come, that we want to get comprehensive care,” Williams said in Toronto.
If any of the passengers from China show symptoms of the virus while they are on the base, they will be transferred to a local hospital for further isolation, observation and treatment.
So far, there’s no indication any of the Canadians who have asked for help to leave China show signs of the illness.
Once the plane lands at CFB Trenton, a military base in southern Ontario, passengers will be housed at the Yukon Lodge, a motel with 290 guest rooms normally reserved for military personnel and their families, as well others visiting the base. They will be watched for symptoms for a full two weeks.
At the end of the 14 days, Canadians under quarantine on the military base who still don’t show any signs or symptoms of coronavirus will be transported to either Ottawa, Toronto or Montreal, where they can finally return home. -CINEWS