Ontario, Canada’s worst-hit province which is battling the third wave of the coronavirus, has sought a ban on the arrival of international students.
Premier Doug Ford said last Friday, that since 94 per cent of all new cases in Ontario are of new variant of the virus and are coming from outside, he would urge the federal government to ban the arrival of international students into the province to check the spread of the virus.
Premier Ford said, “Not enough is being done to keep these deadly variants out of Canada. Last week, the new Indian variant was reported here in Ontario. It didn’t swim here I can tell you that.”
Responding to the Ontario premier’s request, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that his government would do everything to stop the spread of the virus.
Ford who made the request on a first ministers’ call was the only premier to do so, Trudeau told a news conference.
Trudeau said, “Premier Ford has asked that we should suspend the arrival of international students and because at this time Ontario is the only province making this request, we are happy to work narrowly with them.”
“Many provinces feel that they’re doing a good job of managing these students and that they’re not a huge source of cases,” Trudeau added.
Canada banned all direct flights from India for one month earlier this week after Health Canada statistics showed that many passengers from India were testing positive for the virus.
Currently, students from India make up the majority of international students studying in Ontario.
There were 219,855 Indian students in Canada last year, making up about a third of all 642,480 foreign students. The majority of them study in institutions in Ontario.
The premier also called on the federal government to institute hotel quarantine for those crossing into Canada at land borders.
But Trudeau said there are already tight controls at land borders, including tests before and after crossing and a mandatory two-week quarantine.