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Ottawa, May 26 (Canadian-Media): Even after significant cut in U.S. and other international flights coming into Canada, thousands of passengers, undaunted by COVID-19 pandemic, are still flying each week at the country's airports, media reports said.
Covid-19 Pandemic. Image credit: Twitter handle
Last year during the week of May 11-17, approximately 356,673 air travelers came into Canada from the U.S., according to the Canada Border Services Agency(CBSA).
Although there was a nearly 99 percent drop in the same time period this year, yet 3,691 people still entered Canada that week.
Colin Furness, infection control epidemiologist, and also an assistant professor with the University of Toronto's Faculty of Information, believes this to be a cause for concern, since it is through travel that this pandemic arrived everywhere in the world.
"We should be closing our borders as much as we can. We can't bring [the number of entrants] down to zero but we should get as close as we can."
The Public Health Agency of Canada reported that as of May 25, 19 percent of confirmed cases were the result of someone becoming exposed while travelling or being exposed to a traveler coming to Canada, and nine percent of of cases were contributed by those who reported to have traveled outside of Canada.
Trudeau told reporters last week that more should be done to ensure proper follow up of travelers coming back from overseas or from the United States, and are properly isolated to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
He said he was in in constant conversations with the premiers regarding potential monitoring tools for those arriving in Canada.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney recently announced implementation of more stringent measures by his government to screen incoming passengers from outside Canada for symptoms of COVID-19 at the province's two international airports in Calgary and Edmonton .
Travelers arriving from destinations outside Canada will undergo temperature scans and provide provincial officials with details of their 14-day mandatory quarantine plan including where they will stay and how they will get there.
Travelers without such plans or private transport to their destinations will be isolated on site, Kenney said.
In April, the federal government announced that all air travelers would have to wear face masks while in transit and whenever maintaining two metres' separation from others is not possible.
Passengers arriving in or departing from Canada have to prove they have a non-medical mask or face covering with them during the boarding process. Those not having non-medical mask or face covering could be prevented from continuing their journey.
Some airlines had ensured that the middle seat is kept empty.