Novel Coronavirus Update – Canada Moves to Evacuate Citizens from China

Canada's Minister of Health Patty Hajdu states the risk for Canadians is low
Canada's Minister of Health Patty Hajdu states the risk for Canadians is low

Canada is now moving to evacuate Canadians from China who have been impacted by the novel coronavirus. “We have been working with all levels of government, public health officials and our international partners to ensure the safe return home of Canadians from Hubei Province, including staff and the flight crew. Our plan is focused on ensuring the health and safety of all Canadians,” states Minister of Health Patty Hajdu.

The move started Sunday, as François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, and Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, today announced the Government of Canada’s plan to assist Canadians who have requested help in departing from Wuhan.

Government officials have reached out to Canadians and are continuing to offer information and assistance. The Government of Canada has chartered a plane that is standing by. It will land in Hanoi, Vietnam and deploy to Wuhan, where the airspace is currently closed, once the Government of China has given authorization to land.

Work is also underway to comply with other Chinese requirements, including providing manifest details in advance of the flight departure and further documentation on the Canadians wishing to depart. Additionally, government officials and Canadian Armed Forces medical personnel are currently on their way to Hanoi and in the process of obtaining the necessary visas from the government of China to enter Wuhan.

Canadian officials are in constant contact with Canadians who have requested assistance to facilitate their departure from the affected region. Staff from the Embassy of Canada to China in Beijing, as well as members of Global Affairs Canada’s Standing Rapid Deployment Team, are now deployed to Wuhan to prepare for the departure of the flight.

To protect the health and safety of Canadians—both those who are coming to and those already in Canada—the returning individuals will undergo a thorough health screening before boarding, during the flight and upon arrival at CFB Trenton, Ontario.

The Government of Canada is working with provincial, territorial and local health authorities to support Canadians who may require further medical attention to be safely transferred to the health-care system upon their arrival.

All other returning Canadians, including staff and flight crew, will remain at CFB Trenton for 14 days for further 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.

Canadians in China in need of emergency consular assistance can contact the Embassy of Canada to China in Beijing at 86 (10) 5139 4000. Canadians can also call Global Affairs Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre (EWRC) in Ottawa at +1 613 996 8885 (collect calls are accepted where available) or email sos@international.gc.ca. It is important to note that individuals in Hubei Province must contact the EWRC in advance to make the necessary arrangements to access the evacuation flight.