Health Canada has stationed quarantine officers from the Public Health Agency of Canada at six Canadian airports in order to ensure the screening of travellers coming from countries affected by the Ebola outbreak. According to a statement issued by the spokesperson for Health Canada on late Wednesday, the quarantine officers are currently present at the Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Halifax, Ottawa and Calgary airports. It was clarified that any travellers from West Africa showing signs of illness or hinting to have been in contact with someone who is sick will be referred to these officers.
According to an announcement on Wednesday by Health Minister, Rona Ambrose, Canada will start “targeted temperature” screening of travellers from affected countries. PHAC explained on Wednesday that these quarantine officers will ensure temperature checks to any traveller they believe needs one. It was mentioned that “quarantine officers have the necessary training and equipment, including temperature-monitoring devices, to conduct a health assessment and determine whether additional health measures are required,” adding that “should these travellers identify themselves in this manner, a temperate check will now be administered.”
These precautionary measures are installed even though there are no direct flights into Canada from any countries affected by the outbreak. Having said that, Health Canada stated that at all other ports of entry to Canada, including land border crossings and sea ports, Canada Border Services Agency officers will be able to consult remotely with a quarantine officer. Public health officials claim that the risk Ebola poses to Canadians “has not changed and remains very low.”
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