Entertainment Why tougher quarantines and screening might be better than an India flight ban to stop COVID-19 variants
COVID protocol-related absences: 03/31/21
Each day, the NHL will publicly release the list of players that are unavailable to their respective teams due to being in COVID-19 Protocol. Here is the list for today: © Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports Anaheim – Alexander VolkovBoston – Jake DeBruskFlorida – TBALos Angeles – Brendan LemieuxMinnesota – Zach PariseMontreal – Joel Armia, Eric StaalNY Rangers – Brett Howden Vancouver – Adam GaudetteAs a reminder, inclusion on this list does not mean that a player has tested positive for Coronavirus or even that they have been confirmed as a close contact to another positive person.
The discovery of a new — possibly more virulent — coronavirus variant in India hasto halt flights to Canada from the country.
But some health experts argue targeting specific countries won't stem the tide, as numerous variants — including the strain first detected in India — have already spread across the globe.
"I do believe it's a mistake to single out any one country or any one part of the world because these viruses have already spread into many different areas," said Dr. Andrew Simor, an infectious disease specialist at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto.
NHL postpones Wednesday's Calgary-Vancouver game
The NHL has decided to ere on the side of caution as a result of Adam Gaudette’s positive COVID-19 test. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports (Twitter link) that tonight’s game between the Canucks and Flames has been postponed. TSN’s Frank Seravalli tweets that the decision was made after more information has surfaced regarding Vancouver’s test results; that information obviously has not yet been made public.
"The most effective thing is screening on arrival and in particular, quarantine on arrival."
The federal governmentmost non-essential foreign travellers from entering Canada, and to take multiple COVID-19 tests and complete a 14-day quarantine.
the rules don't go far enough — or provide loopholes — so Canada's most effective move now would be to toughen up its screening and quarantine measures.
"The current travel restrictions are rather porous," said Simor.
India's new variant
COVID-19 cases are, which could be fuelled by a new variant in the country — B1617 — that may be more contagious and/or more deadly because it of the virus
Why tougher quarantines and screening might be better than an India flight ban to stop COVID-19 variants
The discovery of a new coronavirus variant in India has ignited calls to halt flights to Canada from the country. But some health experts argue that targeting specific countries won't stem the tide of COVID-19 and say tougher screening and quarantine for arriving air passengers would be more effective.But some health experts argue targeting specific countries won't stem the tide, as numerous variants — including the strain first detected in India — have already spread across the globe.
As a result, some countries, such as theand , have restricted travel from the country.
That has sparked demands from somethat Canada follow suit by restricting travel from India and other global hotspots.
The demands have been fuelled bytallying the number of recent flights from India to Canada carrying passengers who have tested positive for COVID-19.
Out of 117 flights to Canada between April 5 and 17, the government reported that 29 flights from India carried at least one infected passenger.
But 23 Canada-bound flights from Europe and 22 Canada-bound flights from the U.S. also carried infected passengers during the same time period. Several worrisome COVID-19 variants are spreading in both those regions — including the B1617 variant first detected in India.
And B1617 has already hit Canada, with cases reportedand .
NHL evaluating alternate plans for North Division's playoff setup
As the Stanley Cup Playoffs creep closer and closer and there has been no change at the Canadian border, it is seeming more and more likely that there will be some form of relocation in the postseason. TSN’s Darren Dreger reports that the NHL is not rushing to any conclusions, waiting to see if border policies are relaxed, but have to evaluate alternative plans for the North Division winner to be able to compete in the semifinals and Cup Final this season.
"It's already here," said Caroline Colijn, a COVID-19 modeller at Simon Fraser University. "We sound the alarm now, but it had plenty of opportunity to get all over Asia and all over the world."
Video: Canada to receive 2.8 million Moderna COVID-19 vaccine doses in May, officials address delays (Global News)
University of Ottawa epidemiologist Raywat Deonandan said a more prudent move would be for Canada to temporarily ban non-essential travel from across the globe.
But that may prove difficult. Although Canada bans most foreigners from entering, Canadians can still leave and return to the country, a right the government says is.
And if the government continues to take that position, but bans flights from India, Deonandan points out that travellers could still fly between India and Canada via an indirect route.
"Nothing prevents someone from travelling from India to a second country and arriving from there," he said. "So [there are] loopholes."
Still no tests for essential travellers
The government says it's considering additional travel measures as B1617 continues its global spread, butHowever, Ottawa has made one thing clear: it believes its current travel rules and restrictions are effective.
Canada’s travel ban on India, Pakistan will only delay COVID-19 spread: experts
Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in Beverly Hills to mark the 106th anniversary of the beginning of the mass killing of Armenians by Turkish forces during World War I.
"The measures that we have put in place are limiting significantly and severely the importation of travel-related cases," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said during a news conference Tuesday.
But some experts say those measures need to be strengthened.
Currently, to ensure the free flow of goods and services during the pandemic, most essential workers — such as truck drivers and flight crew — are exempt from Canada's rules requiring incoming travellers to take multiple COVID-19 tests and quarantine.
Butessential workers crossing the border should at least be tested for COVID-19.
"If you have the tools to — at the very least — do a cursory screening, in this case a rapid [COVID-19] test, why wouldn't you do it?" said Deonandan.
Long-haul truck driver Rick McNabbof Waterloo, Ont. would also like to see routine testing for truckers.
Hesaid he follows strict COVID-19 safety protocols, but still fell ill with COVID-19 three weeks ago. McNabb believes he got the virus during one of his weekly trips, hauling goods to Wisconsin, where he says many people don't take the pandemic seriously.
"I would say less than 50 per cent of people wear masks," he said. "They're kind of in denial, they don't believe it's real, they don't really care."
In February, Ottawa said it wasfor essential workers at the border, but has not yet presented concrete plans.
India’s COVID-19 crisis: As feds pledge $10M, here’s how Canadians can help
As India's coronavirus cases continue to surge, with hospitals running out of oxygen and ventilators, here's a list of ways in which Canadians can help.Trudeau talked about the "heartbreaking news from hospitals in India that are unable to keep up with the number of patients" and said Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau has spoken with the Indian government on how Canada can help.
Hotel quarantine concerns
To help curb the spread of COVID-19 variants, the government recently mandated that air passengers entering Canada must take a COVID-19 test upon arrival and quarantine for up to three days in a designated hotel to wait for the results.
Shortly after the rules took effect on Feb. 22, it soon became apparent that some passengers were, sometimes by — which could result in a fine.
Deonandan said the government needs to do a better job to make sure travellers comply with the new rules.
"Are you an incoming traveller? Yes — in that case you are going to be cordoned and sent to that bus over there that will take you to the hotel. That's the price to travel now."
CBC News asked the Public Health Agency of Canada about stronger enforcement for travellers required to quarantine in a hotel, but has yet to receive a reply.
SFU's Colijn agrees that Canada needs to be more vigilant on the home front. She said that banning flights to India seems like an easy fix, but that testing and monitoring travellers entering the country is now where Canada can best prevent them from spreading the virus.
"These other things are really hard, but they're what we have to do if we want to prevent dangerous new variants from arriving."
COVID protocol-related absences: 05/13/21 .
Each day, the NHL will publicly release the list of players that are unavailable to their respective teams due to being in COVID-19 Protocol. Here is today’s list: © Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports Colorado – Devan DubnykSt. Louis – Jake WalmanWashington – Evgeny KuznetsovAs a reminder, inclusion on this list does not mean that a player has tested positive for Coronavirus or even that they have been confirmed as a close contact to another positive person.