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Ottawa, Feb 24 (Canadian-Media): The continuous increase of Coronavirus cases around the globe has prompted Canada to prepare a pandemic response plan, media reports said.
The world is threatened, said Canada's Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam, by the evolution of a respiratory illness called COVID-19 posed by the fast spread of novel coronavirus at the community level, person-to-person, in several other countries.
"These signs are concerning, and they mean that the window of opportunity for containment ... for stopping the global spread of the virus, is closing," Tam told reporters in a teleconference Monday.
"It also tells countries like Canada, that have been able to manage and detect cases so far, that we have to prepare across governments, across communities, and as families and individuals, in the event of more widespread transmission in our community."
Dr Theresa Tam. Image credit: Twitter handle
World Health Organization (WHO) so far hasn't declared it a pandemic as it fears labelling the outbreak a pandemic could cause unnecessary alarm.
Tam added that Canada's course of action for the preparation of the pandemic response plan would be much the same whether the WHO declares a pandemic or not.
Canada's pandemic response plan built in 2009, said Tam would serve as the foundation for any change in the current outbreak, including accelerating research, helping international efforts to develop a vaccine abroad, expanding laboratory testing capabilities and access to diagnostic tools, and taking stock of essential supplies to make sure authorities don't run short.
Although Canada has been successful in detecting imported cases and preventing person-to-person spread within communities, but it is still preparing for other scenarios, Tam said.