Biggest Source of COVID Entering Canada Identified

Some controversial comments have dubbed COVID-19 the ‘China Virus’. But a new study suggests that, at least in the case of Canada’s epidemic, China may not be the main culprit.

The study involved Canadian and American scientists doing a deep dive into an ‘unprecedented’ international database of DNA of the virus. As the National Post reports, the results show that, “More than half the imported variants of the pathogen that led to outbreaks in Canada likely came from the United States.”

Researchers traced 402 ‘sublineages’ of the virus that caused outbreaks in Canada back to other countries. 218 appeared to have originated from the U.S.

Other sources, including Russia, India, Italy and the U.K. were distant runners-up behind the American numbers. The next closest was Russia at 29.

And while the COVID-19 virus is still believed to have originated in China, which the National Post notes has been “widely criticized for initial attempts to obscure the emergence of the virus… allowing it to spread,” travel from China to Canada accounts for “relatively little transmission” here. The study found that China itself was the origin of only two of the sublineages that resulted in outbreaks in Canada.

The authors explained that their study demonstrates how much we are “interlinked with other countries and between provinces.” Their findings have implications for Canada’s COVID-19 policies: past, present – and possibly future.

“Every single importation was an opportunity that the government had to intervene,” said Angela McLaughlin, the UBC doctoral student who co-authored the paper with Dr. Jeff Joy and others.

She added, “Early and strict interventions are the way to go,” praising the stringent 14-day hotel quarantines imposed on arrivals by the governments of Australia and New Zealand.

Taking that route, rather than the path the Canadian government has taken, she said would mean, “You don’t have to have this stretched-out, low-level lockdown going on for so long, which I think has generated so much public apathy around the issue (in Canada).”

The study also raises another enormous issue: “how to make the world’s longest undefended border more virus-tight.” McLaughlin added, “if data indicates that truck drivers are a significant source of virus importation, it might make sense to have handovers of freight at the border so the drivers themselves don’t cross over.”

The researchers also questioned travel within Canada. The findings concluded that Canada’s most populous provinces, ON and QC, were “the destinations for about 80 per cent of the imported viruses identified.”

Restrictions on inter-provincial travel, like the ‘Atlantic Bubble’, would have helped limit the spread of COVID-19 in Canada, they concluded.

But the researchers did not say whether increased restrictions – including between provinces – now would help Canada get a handle on a crippling third wave of the epidemic.

Lynn Elmhirst

With a background in broadcast news and travel lifestyles TV production, Lynn is just as comfortable behind or in front of the camera as she is slinging words into compelling stories at her laptop. Having been called a multi-media ‘content charmer’, Lynn’s other claim to fame is the ability to work 24/7, forgoing sleep until the job is done. Documented proof exists in a picture of Lynn at the closing celebrations of an intense week, standing, champagne in hand - sound asleep. That’s our kind of gal.

One thought on “Biggest Source of COVID Entering Canada Identified

  • 22.04.21 at 1:36 pm

    So how did the US get the virus, wasnt it thru China and the lab there? Since our leaders are so smart why did the PM not stop flights from china early on.??

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