Canadians returning from Wuhan will be quarantined for 14 days
The federal government is putting all the pieces in place to repatriate Canadian citizens stranded in Wuhan, China, the locked-down epicentre of the novel coronavirus.
Permanent residents of Canada with children will be allowed to leave the coronavirus-affected region in Wuhan, China on a government-chartered flight, said Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne during a press conference in Ottawa, Monday.
The number of citizens allowed to return is fluctuating but it is roughly 300 Canadians including 280 passport holders and 24 others. The decision was made by China and is consistent with Chinese protocols to allow repatriation of other countries’ citizens, Champagne said.
“All Canadians boarding the aircraft will undergo medical exit screenings by Chinese authorities before being declared fit to travel,” said Canada’s Health Minister Patty Hajdu.
It is a large plane but a second chartered plane has been secured to transport people if it is required, Champagne said.
Based on the latest information no Canadians in Wuhan are showing symptoms of the virus, according to Francois-Phillipe Champagne. They await approval from Chinese authorities before getting the Canadians out of Wuhan.
Canada is still awaiting final approval from China to enter Wuhan’s airspace, and land at the airport which is now closed. For this reason the plane is on standby in Hanoi, Vietnam.
On Sunday it was announced that the returning Canadians will be quarantined for two weeks at CFB Trenton.
Canada’s Health Minister Patty Hajdu said steps will be taken to screen all passengers and segregate them if they begin showing symptoms during the flight.
“To protect the health and safety of Canadians — both those who are coming to and those already in Canada — the returning individuals will undergo a thorough health screening before boarding, during the flight and upon arrival at CFB Trenton, Ontario,” said a statement from Global Affairs Canada.
Also, all staff taking part in the airlift will be wearing protective gear and then “all other returning Canadians, including staff and flight crew, will remain at CFB Trenton for 14 days for further medical assessment and observation, and be provided with all the necessary medical and other supports as needed to ensure the health and safety of all Canadians.”
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