Cablegate: Wgsars: Canada-Wide Status Report April 24

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.





CDC for Global Health Office (Cox)

E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: WGSARS: Canada-wide Status Report April 24
(Number 6)

Ref. (A) Ottawa 1139 (SARS Canada-wide Report #5)

(B) Toronto 1185(Ontario SARS Update #16)

1. The WHO Travel Advisory released on April 23 that
recommended against travel to Toronto precipitated
vigorous dissent from the Federal Health Minister Anne
McLellan, from Toronto Mayor Mel Lastman and from
provincial and federal public health officials (ref B).
Deputy Prime Minister John Manley described the WHO
advisory as "unwarranted", although Prime Minister
Chretien has not joined the fray as he is out of the
country on vacation. On April 23 Health Canada sent
WHO a letter which formally challenged the WHO Travel
Advisory decision.

2. Meanwhile, for a brief period on April 23 the
Minister of Health of the province of Nova Scotia, in
an address to members of the provincial legislature
urged residents of that province to heed the WHO travel
advice and avoid travel to Toronto. The Nova Scotian
Minister back-tracked after several hours.

3. As of 13:00 Eastern Daylight Saving Time, April 22,
2003 Health Canada has received reports of 324 probable
or suspect cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome
(SARS) in Canada. To date, transmission has been
limited to specific transmission settings such as
households, hospitals and specific community settings.
The details of the cases to date are as follows:

-- Ontario is reporting 136 probable and 125 suspect
cases. This is an increase of 1 probable and 1 suspect
case since Report #5. (See Toronto reporting for
greater detail. All the 15 Canadian deaths have been
linked to the Toronto nexus, 14 probable cases and 1
suspected case.)

-- British Columbia is reporting 4 probable and 47
suspect cases. This is an increase of 6 suspect cases
since Report #5., see also paragraph 4.

-- New Brunswick is reporting 2 suspect cases. (No

-- Saskatchewan is reporting 1 suspect case. (No

-- Alberta is reporting 5 suspect cases. (No change)

-- Prince Edward Island is reporting 4 suspect cases.
(No change.)

4. According to Press reports, Public Health officials
in British Columbia are attempting to locate passengers
who arrived in Vancouver on April 19 on a China
Airlines flight from New Delhi, India, via Taipei,
Taiwan. Eight of the passengers have subsequently
developed symptoms of SARS. The flight may have
carried as many as 250 passengers. Of the passengers
who have developed signs of SARS, a two-year-old girl
and an adult have been hospitalized while the other six
remain in home isolation.


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