Brazil variant warning: Explosion in Canada despite tough quarantine rules sparks panic

US warned of coronavirus 'fourth wave' by expert

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Outside of Brazil the largest cluster of the new strain is in Canada. Today scientists have said it was “inevitable” the Brazilian coronavirus variant would override strict quarantines implemented by the Canadian border controls. The scientists said the highly infectious new variants would find a way to “leak” out of the isolation schemes such as quarantine hotels and secure border controls.

The experts say that staff members in quarantine hotels can transmit the virus out into the general population.

Another reason for the dangerous strains getting footholds internationally are failures in infection control practices.

Currently, Canada has the largest outbreak of the P.1 variant outside of Brazil, and in recent days has reported large flare-ups in several provinces.

The Whistler Blackcomb ski resort has been closed after Canadian officials in British Columbia discovered 877 cases of the highly infectious Brazil variant, the P.1 strain.

Also, in the past week, 100 people have caught the Brazilian strain in both Alberta and in Ontario.

Officials are trying to discover how the variant could spread so rapidly in areas without major international travel links.

Professor Lawrence Young, a microbiologist at the University of Warwick, has told the Daily Mail that it is impossible to discover the exact entry point of the Brazilian variant into Canada.

The microbiologist said the most likely way the variant strayed into the country was by a staff member from Canada’s ultra-strict quarantine hotels.

Speaking to the Daily Mail Professor Young said: “The point with restricting contacts and containing variants is you have to be mega, mega strict or it is inevitable with a very, very infectious virus that it will be passed on.

“There have been other cases leaking from strict hotel quarantines in Australia, it could be that hotel workers are being too liberal and interacting with patients while giving them food.

“Transmission in quarantine hotels is well documented in staff.”

Canada has a quarantine system that is, even more, stricter than the one in the UK.

Any citizen that arrives in Canada for “non-essential” reasons must self isolate in approved quarantine hotels.

Arrivals must isolate for 14 days in quarantine hotels, whether they test negative or not.

Professor Lawrence from Warick University said that while quarantine hotels can stop the majority of variant cases, some infected individuals who are contagious can slip through the cracks.

He said: “There are so many variables when it comes to these variants, they are much more transmissible and infectious so they don’t need as much social contact to spread around.

“By the time you first identify them, they’re already out there already and have spread in several countries which makes it impossible to monitor everyone.”

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