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Canadian government worker, flight crew released from coronavirus quarantine

A Canadian government employee and five flight crew members have been released early from a new coronavirus quarantine in Ontario, Canada‘s chief medical officer says.

In a statement released Monday morning, Dr. Theresa Tam said she had authorized the early release of five flight crew members who accompanied Canadians returning from Wuhan, China from Vancouver to Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Trenton.

She said a government employee who boarded the first repatriation flight in Hanoi to provide support on the flight from Wuhan to CFB Trenton has also been cleared for release.

“In my assessment, I took into account the fact that they did not spend time in the epicentre of the outbreak, that they followed appropriate infection prevention and control protocols (including the use of personal protective equipment), and that they did not have unprotected contact with passengers or persons at risk of having the novel coronavirus,” Tam said in the statement. “As a result of this assessment, I have determined that their continued quarantine is not required.”

Since late last week, more than 200 Canadians have been evacuated from Wuhan, where the new coronavirus is believed to have originated.

They have been under a mandatory 14-day quarantine at the base, located about 175 kilometres east of Toronto, in order to prevent the possible spread of the virus, currently known as 2019-nCoV.

Monday’s news comes just a day after Tam announced that Canadian Armed Forces medical staff who accompanied the returning travellers would be leaving the quarantine early.

In a statement, Tam said the individuals “do not pose a risk of significant harm to public health.”

So far, Tam said no one at CFB Trenton has shown signs of the virus.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, a second plane left Canada to collect the remaining citizens seeking repatriation from China.

“The plane would be leaving (China) on the 10th of February, bringing back the last group of Canadians who want to be repatriated on the 11th,” Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne told reporters on Sunday.

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