Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons.

MP Morrison takes feds to task over coronavirus follow up

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison is taking the federal government to task over an alleged failure to reach out to airplane passengers on a flight from China to Canada, one of whom was diagnosed with coronavirus soon after arriving in Toronto.

Morrison says passengers on that flight deserve to know that one of their ranks was diagnosed with coronavirus, and that they themselves might be at risk.

The Kootenay-Columbia MP raised the issue in Question Period last week, asking if the federal government knew the location of every passenger on that flight.

“My question was pretty simple — have you called everybody, has everybody been contacted in case they need to be quarantined?” said Morrison. “And I didn’t get an answer from them.

“…For me, with the technology we have, it just seems to me that it would be fairly basic to get the [passenger] manifest and find out where everybody is and just make sure that they don’t have any of the symptoms and get checked out, that’s all.”

During the exchange in Question Period, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responded that the government is ‘in the process’ of following up with everyone who was on the flight, according to the CPAC broadcast.

Morrison added there is an expectation that the government be up front and honest about any developments.

“If there are some people who have not been contacted, for example, just say that we’re looking for a few people and if anybody knows their whereabouts, just let us know so we can help them out,” Morrison said. “But for the government not to respond with a definite answer, it just throws up a red flag.”

So far, confirmed cases of the coronavirus have been limited to four in British Columbia and Ontario.

According to a joint statement from provincial government officals, the B.C. patient — a man in his 40s — who lives in the Vanocuver region, tested positively for coronavirus. He is currently in isolation in his home and being monitored by public health officials.

The statement advises that special precautions aren’t necessary beyond the usual illness prevention measures such as regular hand-washing, coughing or sneezing into your elbow, proper disposing of tissues and avoiding contact with sick people.


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