Canadian Defence Minister says China is not our adversary
Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan believes China is not an adversary to Canada, despite rising and consistent tensions between the two countries.
While addressing a crowd at the Halifax International Security Forum in Halifax, Sajjan noted that the detention of two Canadian citizens in China was unwarranted, but that the relationship with China is still needed for co-operation on trade, according to AP.
Two private schools in the Greater Toronto Area have made it aware that some parents were on the same flight as the Ontario patient who has been diagnosed with the coronavirus, according to CTV News.
Since coronavirus was brought to the attention of the Western public last week, there has been a great deal of panic around the spreading of the virus. Originally starting in Wuhan, China, the disease has now spread to Canada—with two confirmed cases.
Since then, two private schools in Ontario have asked parents to not send their children to school if they have recently travelled to China. One school, named Richmond Hill Montessori School, has asked children to stay at home for at least 15 days.
In an “emergency order,” the school asked that parents “kindly note, the same 15-day quarantine applies to any RHMS family who may have come in contact with individuals travelling to Toronto from China or any other countries or cities to be known to have confirmed novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) cases.”
Another Montessori has also sent a message to parents, asking them to quarantine “themselves for the recommended 14-day period to ensure the safety of themselves and others.”
It is unclear whether any of the parents have been affected.
According to Reuters, a doctor who has been fighting on the front line of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan has died from the virus. Liang Wudong was 62 years old.
The doctor had recently retired back in March 2019 but came out of retirement when the outbreak occurred.
According to The Guardian, “the Chinese government stepped up efforts to battle the growing epidemic and sent 1,200 extra medical personnel to Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, to ease the burden on local staff.”
More than 1400 people have been infected worldwide.
When it comes to assessing a government, particularly an authoritarian government, it’s essential to look at actions, not words.
So, with the Coronavirus spreading, the actions of the Chinese government betray a clear sense of panic.
The words are relatively calm, with the government saying they have the situation relatively under control, and that action is being taken swiftly.
That’s what we would expect them to say.
But when it comes to the actions, another story emerges.
The entire city of Wuhan–with a population of 11 million people–is being quarantined. Including neighbouring cities, over 25 million people are in lockdown.
The airport is being shut down.
Train stations are shut down.
Buses, ferries, and other forms of inter-city transportation are being shut down.
Citizens are being told not to travel.
And all of this follows weeks in which Chinese authorities downplayed the threat of the virus, saying only 41 people had it, in what increasingly looks like a desperate cover-up.
Clearly, China’s authorities are afraid.
That raises the following question:
If China is shutting down an entire city, why isn’t Canada restricting incoming flights from China?
With the Lunar New Year travel rush on the way, there is going to be a surge of people flying to Canada from China, and people from Canada travelling to China, and then flying back.
It’s a ready-made recipe for a huge potential spread of the virus in Canada.
And while there is no guarantee of stopping it, the odds can certainly be raised in our favour.
A total restriction in incoming flights from cities around Wuhan would be a good place to start. Additionally, setting up ad-hoc quarantine and testing centres at all major airports, and diverting incoming individuals from incoming flights from China to those centres would be another key step.
Finally, if the virus continues to spread out of control, a total ban on flights from China would have to be considered.
Some may see this as “harsh” or “going too far,” but in reality it’s about the basic job of the Canadian government: Protecting the security and health of the Canadian People.
We are all hoping for the best, hoping that this doesn’t become a pandemic and that the spread is contained. But while we hope for the best, we must prepare for the worst, and that means taking swift action to restrict flights from China.
If you agree, contact your MP and demand that they push for flight restrictions now.
The city of Wuhan is attempting to build a 1000-bed hospital in a span of just 6 days. The hospital is in response to the recent coronavirus outbreak. The Chinese city is where the outbreak was originally noticed.
The workers are using prefabricated buildings to speed up the building process. The building zone is located on the outskirts of Wuhan, according to The Guardian.
Though six days seems like an extremely short timeframe for building a hospital, China has accomplished similar tasks in the past. When the Sars outbreak occurred in 2003, Beijing’s Xiaotangshan hospital was built in only one week. Wuhan workers are using the Xiaotangshan hospital as a template for the construction of their current one. They are building on a 25,000 square metre site.
The hospital in Beijing treated about a seventh of the Sars patients in China in the span of two months. There were many isolation units designed for individual use in the hospital. The facility was closed down shortly after the Sars outbreak had been contained.
There are 35 diggers on site as well as 10 bulldozers. The machinery arrived on Thursday. According to China State Construction Engineering, there are over 100 people working on the facility.
A ton of activity could be seen on state television as many dozers worked side by side on the site while trucks were coming and going with needed materials.
According to Xinhua, the hospital is aimed towards “alleviating the shortage of medical treatment resources and improving the ability to care for patients”.
The hospital’s construction began after reports of overcrowded hospitals and shortages of beds. The outbreak has now infected 830 people in China and 26 people have died.