Ottawa, Apr 10 (Canadian-Media): The fast rate at which the COVID-19 situation evolved in Canada was revealed by the briefing notes prepared by bureaucrats for federal ministers, media reports said.
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned yesterday that normal life in Canada could be seen not before an year.
Justin Trudeau. Image credit: Official site
That change in messaging is in stark contrast to the fact that less than two months ago Public Health Agency of Canada officials were advising policymakers of the low risk of COVID-19 in this country.
A briefing note prepared for Canada's Health Minister Patty Hajdu on March 10 said that, with just 12 cases being reported nationwide at that point, "the risk of spread of this virus within Canada remains low at this time." The note also said the public health system is "well-equipped to contain cases coming from abroad, limiting the spread in Canada."
The public health officials recommend an ordered shutdown of economic life in Canada only two weeks later.
Only a month later, Canada exhibited more than 21,000 cases.
As revealed by these documents, the World Health Organization (WHO) as early as Jan. 28 was describing the risk of COVID-19 transmission as "very high" in China and "high at the global level."
The documents, which were tabled Wednesday with the Commons health committee, included several planning memos that informed the federal government's response to COVID-19 in January and February.
It was also revealed in these notes that Canadian government was only concentrating on repatriating Canadians from China's Hubei province and various cruise ships during that time and that little consideration was given to to a possible pandemic.