Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) has announced that Canadian airports will be screening international flyers for coronavirus in Vancouver, Montreal, and Toronto. Meanwhile, the first case of the virus has recently appeared in the U.S., when a flight landed just south of the Canadian border near Vancouver. YVR Airport's new coronavirus screenings could start within a few days.
According to a press release from Vancouver International Airport (YVR), the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has installed messaging on arrivals screens, asking flyers to report to border service officers if they're experiencing flu-like symptoms.
"An additional health screening question will be added to electronic border kiosks in the customs hall," the release added.
CTV News also reports that travellers who have visited Wuhan, China will experience an additional screening.
The YVR's release also said that PHAC ranked Canadians to be at low risk of contracting the coronavirus. Plus, these new measures don't seem like they'll add time, if any, to your travel plans.
According to Business in Vancouver, the screening measures could be installed next week.
These new screening measures were anounced just as the Center for Disease Control and Management (CDC) reported the first case of coronavirus in the U.S. on Tuesday, January 21.
The patient was reportedly returning to Washington from a trip to Wuhan, China. He has now been hospitalized.
According to the CDC, the virus is able to transmit between humans but how exactly is still unknown.
@Summer4Luv1 As per the direction of the @GovCanHealth, YVR is implementing messaging on arrivals screens and addin… https://t.co/FZxo34r5on— Vancouver International Airport (YVR) (@Vancouver International Airport (YVR))1579587121.0
Symptoms of the pneumonia-like coronavirus include "fever, cough and difficulty breathing," according to the PHAC.
They also say that instances of the disease were traced back to the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan that's now closed down so it can be cleaned and disinfected.
Canada has a number of standard border measures to prevent the introduction of infectious diseases into our country… https://t.co/qzuynSf1Zu— Dr. Theresa Tam (@Dr. Theresa Tam)1579559243.0
Canadian airports aren't the only ones with screenings in place.
Airports all over the world are taking on stronger measures, reports the Guardian, with countries like South Korea and Hong Kong disinfecting common areas along with heightened surveillance.
Additionally, South Korea is using ear thermometers to check the temperatures of travellers coming from Wuhan.
With the CDC confirming the first case of the Wuhan coronavirus here in the United States in Seattle, Washington, t… https://t.co/sdlsA5Fql5— Eugene Gu, MD (@Eugene Gu, MD)1579635658.0
CNN called Vancouver "China's aviation hub to the West." They report that Vancouver is a favoured destination for Chinese flights due to the city's proximity to many Chinese locations, Vancouver's large Asian population, and other factors.
Additionally, the Vancouver Sun reported in 2016 that YVR is aiming to add more Chinese airlines to its roster by 2020, hoping to increase its customer base from 20 to 25 million a year.
According to PHAC, Canada is currently free of coronavirus.