The recent discovery of a new coronavirus which originated in Wuhan, China has resulted in the tightening of travel regulations between the area and other parts of the world. As a result, hundreds of Canadian individuals have become stranded in Wuhan and unable to return home to Canada. In a press conference on Monday, February 3, it was announced that the Government of Canada will be evacuating Canadians from Wuhan and that they will be landing to refuel in Vancouver. The Canadian Wuhan evacuation flights will be headed to a final destination in Ontario.

According to a press release from the Government of Canada, the evacuees will be taken to a military base in Trenton, Ontario where they will be housed in isolation.

The Vancouver Courier reports that the government of Canada will be flying up to 306 Canadian individuals out of the coronavirus epicentre.

Flying from Canada, the plane will first stop in Hanoi, Vietnam where it will await approval from the Chinese government to fly to Wuhan and land at the now-closed airport.

Health Minister Patty Hajdu explained in today’s press conference that the plane will stop in Vancouver to refuel while passengers stay on board.

If anyone is ill or shows symptoms of the virus during the flight, they will be removed from the plane by a B.C. health officer who will take them to an isolated facility.

Before boarding the plane to Canada, passengers will be screened by Chinese authorities, explained Hajdu in the press conference.

“The Government of Canada takes the health and safety of Canadians, both at home and abroad, very seriously. We are taking action to return Canadians home from Wuhan, China, while ensuring that appropriate measures are in place to prevent and limit the spread of the novel coronavirus” said François-Phillippe Champagne, Minister of Foreign Affairs in the press release.

As for the individuals being evacuated, if they show no signs of the virus, they will be quarantined in Trenton for two weeks for medical assessment and observation “and be provided with all the necessary medical and other supports as needed to ensure the health and safety of all Canadians,” explains the release.

The BC Centre for Disease Control still reports that, even though there has been one confirmed case of the novel coronavirus in the province, the risk the virus poses is considered low for British Columbians.

With the airport introducing a screening process and face masks flying off the shelves in Vancouver, protection measures are in full swing.

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