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UK COVID-19 variant: Canada identifies 2 cases in Ontario

By Oluwaseun Sonde

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The Government of Canada through its monitoring program have identified in Ontario two cases of the COVID-19 variant observed in the United Kingdom.

In a statement released by the Public Health Agency of Canada on Saturday, as the monitoring continues, it’s expected that cases of this variant and other variants of concern may be found in Canada.

The monitoring program in place with the provinces and territories to identify new COVID-19 variants in Canada, such as the ones identified in the United Kingdom and South Africa.

While early data suggests that these new variants may be more transmissible, to date there is no evidence that they cause more severe disease or have any impact on antibody response or vaccine effectiveness.

More research is required to confirm these findings and the Canadian and global medical, public health and research communities are actively evaluating these mutations.

Furthermore, as these two cases did not travel outside of Canada, it is important to follow public health measures and limit contacts with others, to reduce the transmission of the virus and any of its variants in communities.

Meanwhile, to reduce the risk of importation of the virus and any of its variants, Canada has had travel restrictions and border measures in place since March 2020, including mandatory quarantine.

On December 20, in response to concerns about the UK COVID-19 variant, the Government of Canada also suspended all flights from the United Kingdom for 72 hours, subsequently extended until January 6, at 11:59pm.

Travellers are since being asked additional health screening questions to help identify if their travel itinerary included a country of concern reporting this variant in the last 14 days prior to appearing at a Canadian port of entry.

Canadian Government continues to advise against non-essential travel to other countries and are advising extra caution if you must travel to the United Kingdom or South Africa.


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