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Canada That COVID-19 Internment Camp Conspiracy Is Totally False, Health Canada Says

01:46  22 october  2020
01:46  22 october  2020 Source:   huffingtonpost.ca

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Instructions regarding COVID - 19 (coronavirus) for travellers returning to Canada with no symptoms: self-isolate, monitor your health , if you experience symptoms, preventative measures, and telephone numbers and websites for Public Health Authorities.

To limit the spread of COVID - 19 , travellers entering Canada must follow the rules set out by the emergency orders under the Quarantine Act. However, Canadians , persons with status under the Indian Act and permanent residents who have COVID - 19 symptoms are allowed to return to Canada .

a woman holding a microphone: Canada's Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference on Oct. 20, 2020 in Ottawa. © Provided by HuffPost Canada Canada's Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference on Oct. 20, 2020 in Ottawa.

Federal COVID-19 internment camps are not a thing in Canada, and any messaging suggesting such is a dangerous conspiracy theory.

That’s the message federal officials are sending to Canadians in the wake of circulating misinformation suggesting that the government will force Canadians into “COVID-19 internment camps.”

There’s no truth to that, says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“There is a tremendous amount of noise and harmful misinformation … on the internet,” he told reporters Tuesday. “We need to hold together and resist people who would sow chaos within our communities and our democracy.”

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COVID - 19 has evolved in different ways across Canada . The FPT Special Advisory Committee has recommended a strategic approach to lifting restrictive public health measures (PHM) that can be tailored by jurisdictions based on their local circumstances. Provincial and territorial (PT)

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), in collaboration with Canadian public health experts, has updated this guidance on the use of public health measures (PHMs) to mitigate community transmission as jurisdictions begin to gradually lift their COVID - 19 related restrictions over the coming

Here’s what you need to know.

What’s actually happening?

The federal government is funding voluntary self-isolation sites for people unable to quarantine any other way. These include travel-related quarantine sites and a recently announced Toronto facility to house homeless people with COVID-19 and other vulnerable populations.

“As we work together to keep COVID-19 under control, this new site will help those for whom it’s simply not possible to limit close contacts and self-isolate effectively at home,” Health Minister Patty Hajdu said at the announcement in September. 

WATCH: Hajdu urges young Canadians to socialize safely. Story continues below.

 

When it comes to travel, if you return from abroad you are required to self-isolate at home for 14 days. If you are unable to quarantine safely at home, you’re encouraged to seek out quarantine facilities within your financial means, such as a hotel room. As a last resort, there are now hotels and other facilities in some Canadian cities that will lodge travellers for the quarantine period. 

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The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action to help Canadians facing hardship as a result of the COVID - 19 outbreak. On March 18, 2020, the Prime Minister announced a new set of economic measures to help stabilize the economy during this challenging

He noted that COVID - 19 is caused by a virus that 's spread by person-to-person contact, not by radio waves, and he reiterated that the FCC, Food and "It's a ridiculous concept," said John Bucher, a senior scientist with the National Toxicology Program, a US Health and Human Services interagency

While quarantining for 14 days upon return to Canada is mandatory, Canadians will not be compelled to leave their homes for so-called COVID “camps.”

Where did the conspiracy theory start?

Ontario MPP Randy Hillier, a vocal anti-masker, has promoted the debunked conspiracy theory that the federal government is building COVID-19 camps in the Ontario legislature for weeks now.

“I ask this government if people should prepare for internment camps,” Hillier said during question period on Oct. 7.

“Where will these camps be built, how many people will be detained, and for what reason, for what reasons can people be kept in these isolation camps?” Hillier asked on Oct. 9.

Following Hillier’s comments, memes circulated online comparing Canadian quarantine sites to concentration camps. Commenters on Hillier’s Facebook page referred to the sites as “concentration camps.” The far-right federal party National Citizens Alliance denounced the supposed camps and falsely claimed that children will be taken from their parents. 

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Note: Some people may transmit COVID - 19 even though they do not show any symptoms. In situations where physical distancing is difficult to maintain Note: The Government of Canada has implemented an Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act. This order means that everyone who is entering

To protect Canadians from the outbreak of COVID - 19 , the Prime Minister announced travel restrictions that limit travel to Canada . Until further notice, most foreign nationals cannot travel to Canada , even if they have a valid visitor visa or electronic travel authorization (eTA).

Hillier was booted from the Ontario PC caucus in 2019 for comments related to the parents of autistic children.

Let’s fact-check this

Again, there is no indication that people will be forced into federal quarantine facilities, that they are mandatory or that they resemble anything like the horrors of Nazi-era concentration camps that led to the deaths of millions.

Any suggestion linking the two is dangerous misinformation. 

Health Canada took to Twitter this week to debunk the theory.

What are officials saying?

Trudeau said he personally had to debunk conspiracy theories brought up by someone during a recent virtual meeting.

“I had to explain that as we consume increasing amounts and various sources of information, online and around us, we need to continue to be attentive to source,” the prime minister said.

In the wake of the conspiracy theory, Canada’s top doctor Theresa Tam is once again warning about COVID-19 misinformation online. 

Information is spread faster than the virus itself.Dr. Theresa Tam

“Information is spread faster than the virus itself,” she said. “So be media smart as well as science smart, if you like. Yes, everyone is an armchair epidemiologist and everyone should actually be media smart at this point in time.”

NDP MP Charlie Angus wrote a letter to constituents reassuring them that the conspiracy theory was untrue.

“I want to say simply that there are no secretive internment camps being built,” Angus said. “Government is not preparing to take people away or to impose some dark vaccine agenda.”

This article originally appeared on HuffPost Canada.

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