Most flights carrying COVID-19-positive passengers to Canadian airports were domestic

A WestJet employee helps people test a domestic flight at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond on January 21, 2021 BC.

DARRYL DYCK / The Canadian Press

Flights sending COVID-19-infected passengers to Canadian airports are now mostly domestic routes, a trend that began in the spring, according to federal reports from The Globe and Mail compiled air revelations.

Between January 1 and May 5, 1,873 flights arrived or departed from airports across Canada, where at least one passenger was then tested positive for the virus, according to an analysis of flight details published on a federal government website designed to determine passengers. They are exposed to COVID-19 during flight.

International flights accounted for more than 60 percent of all airline-related cases in January and February. But by April that trend had reversed, with more than 60 percent of flights on domestic travel accounts linked to COVID-19 infections.

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Overall, the number of international flights with positive cases dropped from 331 in January to 193 in April, while domestic flights saw an equivalent increase – from 195 viral-positive flights in January to 331 last month. The highest number of positive cases on Canadian flights in April, 524, since January.

The results of the data analysis raised questions among public health experts and political leaders about whether Canada should do more to prevent the spread of COVID-19 from domestic health travel.

Synivas Murthy, co-chair of the World Health Organization’s global unity testing coronavirus vaccine, data shows that variations have been brought to Canada by air and land borders, but now it is less considering the spread of domestic flights with at least one infected passenger.

Dr Murthy, an associate professor of medicine at the University of British Columbia, said: “All of our focus on our national borders is not on finding solutions to problems at home.

It is imperative to prevent the spread of the disease to other places where COVID-19 is low, but he has no easy fixes on how to prevent this trend.

The increase in domestic flights associated with positive events in recent months coincides with spring breaks in BC and Alberta beginning in late March and early April across western Canada.

Alberta in particular saw a sharp increase in air travel linked to COVID-19. About 150 planes left airports in the province in April, and then passengers tested positive for the virus, down from less than 30 a month ago. This includes 30 flights from Fort McMurray to Coal, where the regional government recently declared a state of emergency. Of the 115 flights associated with the positive cases that landed in Alberta last month, only 10 flights were international arrivals.

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Prime Minister Jason Kenny last week imposed a new lockout across the province to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but there are no travel restrictions on operations.

Between March 19 and April 9 BC on flights associated with the COVID-19 cases. Has risen. Then 130 planes carried the passengers, and then during that three-week period of positive testing, the B.C. Of those, one-fourth to one-fifth said they were from other parts of Canada. Reports from the Centers for Disease Control.

Unlike Ontario and Quebec, BC. The NDP government has said it has no authority to bar other Canadians on holiday within its borders. Based on the confidential legal opinion of a provincial adviser. Instead, anyone flying or driving to BC should be in one of the three regions created by the province to control long road trips.

After reviewing new data compiled by The Globe, BC’s Minister of Public Security and Solicitor General, Mike Farnworth, has a message for anyone in Canada to think about an essential journey from the West: “Stay away. We do not like you now; This is not the time to visit. ”

He said his government had previously raised concerns with Ottawa about domestic air travel and wanted to prove that people flying into Canada had recently tested negative for COVID-19 – just like international travelers.

“I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t,” he said in a phone interview on Friday.

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Last week, Ontario’s ruling Progressive Conservative Party launched a propaganda attack on the federal Liberal government for not stopping international travels before further concerns were introduced into the country. Prime Minister Doug Ford’s government has demanded that Ottawa test COVID-19 in advance of domestic flyers and ban “all essential travel” within Canada.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said his government is ready to work with Ontario to further tighten borders. Mr. Trudeau’s federal government has already restricted most international travel to Canada, including temporary foreign workers, agricultural workers and those admitted for compassionate reasons.

Unlike other parts of Canada, international travel was the largest source of flights in Ontario linked to COVID-19 cases, with two-thirds of such flights to the province in April.

Canada has suspended all direct flights from severely affected India and Pakistan and requires three negative tests from all international passengers, who must stay in isolated hotels for three nights waiting for test results, and then complete 14 days of isolation at home. Those crossing land boundaries are required to undergo three tests and to follow the isolated plan reviewed by the Boundary Officer.

On Friday morning the Globe asked federal ministers for health and public safety and emergency preparedness whether flight data and Ottawa would take additional action to prevent domestic flights, but none of their spokespersons responded.

Last month, the Public Health Agency of Canada said more than 2,000 international travelers had tested positive for COVID-19 since arriving in Canada in the eight-week period ending April 22.

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Colin Furnace, an epidemiologist and assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Toronto, said he was interested in how many domestic birds could have spread the disease once they reached their destination.

Dr Furnace said provinces may impose special taxes on domestic pilots who do not travel for essential reasons to try to curb this trend.

He likened those who travel for pleasure during this third wave of epidemics to those who drink and drive.

“It’s selfish, it’s irresponsible, it’s dangerous, it does terrible harm to others.”

Registration Corona Virus Update Newsletter Read the day’s essential corona virus news, features and descriptions written by Globe reporters and editors.

Sophia Harrison

Part time worker

I'm Sophia Harrison working as a part-time staff at the Costco since the past year until I become as an author at the iron blade, hope I can use my experiences with the supermarkets here.

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