Dec 21, 2020
By Jane Brown
Our federal government is restricting travel from the United Kingdom for 72 hours to try to keep a contagious new strain of the virus that causes COVID-19 out of Canada.
A Health Canada statement says the government is closely monitoring the genetic variant identified in the U.K. and is working with international partners, including the World Health Organization, to understand it better.
Toronto Mayor John Tory says discussions about this new variant will be on the agenda when he meets this morning with the city’s chief medical officer of health and her team.
“If there are things that need to be done in the City of Toronto to protect against such a strain that is still really prevalent in England more so than it is here, then of course we will take those steps, but that is based always on the expert advice from Dr. de Villa and her team,” Mayor Tory explained.
Meantime, there’s a warning from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control that “timely efforts” to prevent and control the spread of cases of COVID-19 involving the new coronavirus variant observed in Britain are needed, but infections have already been reported in at least three other countries in Europe.
The Stockholm-based agency said in a “threat assessment” Monday that while preliminary analysis in the U.K. suggests the new variant is “significantly more transmissible” there is no indication that infections are more severe.