Omicron is spreading rapidly in Canada with cases rising from 91 to 276 (as of Dec 15 at 7:37 pm EST) in last 4 days. Apart from Omicron, overall COVID cases have also increased significantly with total active cases rising to 40,285 (as of Dec 15 at 7:37 pm EST). Yesterday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had a discussion with premiers of all the provinces discussing measures to deal with new Omicron variant.
Today, Chrystia Freeland (Deputy Prime Minister), Jean-Yves Duclos (Minister of Health), Omar Alghabra (Minister of Transportation), and Dominic LeBlanc (Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs) announced Canada’s measures to deal with newly emerged “Omicron” variant of COVID. Deputy Prime Minister, Chrystia Freeland said Omicron has remined us that we are still in pandemic which more transmissible variant of concern. “We are constantly reassessing and monitoring the current situation,” She added.
Minister, Duclos Made Following Announcements In Response To Omicron & Rising COVID Cases:
- Citing the recent spread of overall COVID cases and new variant of concern (Omicron), minister announced official advisory to avoid non-essential travel outside Canada.
- This advisory is based on that Omicron is spreading rapidly around the world and with changing situation rapidly, Canadians may contract virus or get struck abroad. Detailed advisory will be available on https://travel.gc.ca/travel-covid in few hours.
- Canada will be increasing on-arrival testing. Ministry will have more to say on that in very near future. This measure will be in place for 4 weeks and may be revised again as needed.
- Increase the use of Booster doses and expand the use of rapid test.
Minister, LeBlanc said that they have been saying since the beginning of pandemic that they will be doing whatever is required to support Canadians during this pandemic and will continue to take measures for getting Canadians out of this pandemic. Federal government will continue to work collaboratively with provinces to ensure safety of Canadians. Furthermore, he said that PM has had discussion with premiers of all the provinces and discussed different measures that can be implemented for international borders to curb the spread of COVID. Also there was discussion with provinces to introduce measures and increase vaccination coverage to deal with COVID.
Dr. Theresa Tam (chief public health officer of Canada) said that discussions are ongoing on international border measures, but at this time pivot is more towards the domestic response of Canada to stop the spread of COVID. Furthermore, they added that there could be more forthcoming measures to deal with and has submitted the data to federal government. Apart from 10 travel restricted countries, they have also submitted the data that highlights the high positive rate in on-arrival testing from certain countries.