Canada announced the closure of its border with all foreign nationals, except US citizens, after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced “drastic” measures to combat the Covid-19 epidemic.
“All Canadians should stay home as much as possible,” Trudeau said from outside his mansion on March 16. He is quarantining himself because his wife was positive for corona virus last week.
“In the past few days, we’ve seen Covid-19 spread faster and faster around the world. Canada is no exception, ”the Canadian Prime Minister said. “We have decided to take increasingly drastic measures to protect you and your family.”
He said the border was still open for goods, but the government would restrict flights to airports in four major Canadian cities: Toronto Pearson, Montreal-Trudeau, international airports in Vancouver and Calgary.
Earlier, only on March 13, Health Minister Patty Hajdu also rejected the border closure. But the surge in infections has recently forced top government health official Theresa Tam to warn the health system is increasingly at risk of overcrowding.
Canada as of March 16 had 377 cases of corona virus infection, double the number of cases three days earlier.
Canadian provinces are taking strong measures. Ontario has announced 17 test sites, and has issued an emergency law that prohibits businesses from firing employees when they areolate themselves, as well as protecting parents who have to stay home to care for their children.
Alberta closed all public schools, following similar moves in many other provinces. Quebec has closed bars, nightclubs, gyms, and urged residents to keep their distance, limit exposure and stay home when possible.
“The strength of our country is the ability to unite and take care of each other, especially when times are hard,” Prime Minister Trudeau called for solidarity. “So call your friends, ask your family, think about the community.”