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Canada eyes policy on travel from India due to massive outbreak

Canada’s top public health doctor says the federal government is looking into flights arriving from India amid reports that a massive surge of COVID-19 cases is ravaging that country.

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says Ottawa has generally opted for measures that are not country-specific, such as a pre-boarding test for COVID-19, tests on arrival and government-mandated quarantine. 

But she says India could be a special case due to a “variant of interest” there that may be fuelling a massive outbreak of COVID-19. 

India recorded nearly 300,000 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday alone, with 2,000 more deaths linked to the virus.  

According to the federal government, there have been 35 flights from India with at least one case of COVID-19 that have arrived in Canada in the last two weeks. 

Ontario’s government, for one, is “pleading” with Ottawa to ban travel from India and other hot-spot countries. 

The provincial government says cases of COVID-19 are pouring in through international borders. 

House leader Paul Calandra told question period that it’s critical that the federal Liberals act now to prevent more variants from infiltrating Canada. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 21, 2021.

The Canadian Press