Canada responds to claim Covid arrived in China via ‘overseas deliveries’ — Analysis
Ottawa states that Omicron could not have survived the trip by mail from North America to China.
Canada’s health officials have cast doubt on Beijing’s claim that the first reported Omicron case in China could have been caused by a person interacting with a contaminated mail from Toronto, saying that is “highly improbable.”
“I find this to be, let’s say, an extraordinary view,” Canada’s Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos told a news conference Monday. Chinese specialists in health had earlier made an allegation that the minister was responding quickly.
Beijing’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention had said it “cannot be ruled out” that a mail delivery containing a batch of documents had become the source of the disease in the case that saw one person diagnosed with the Omicron infection – the first such case in Beijing.
According to the Chinese media, mail sent from Canada contained the Omicron strain. This case also involved a strain. “similar”Chinese officials stated that the Chinese one would be identical to those found in North America or Singapore in December 2021.
Canada was skeptical of the news. This was described by Dr. Supriya Sharma (Health Canada’s chief medical advisor). “overseas deliveries”Hypotheses “highly improbable.”
“You would have to have virus on an object, it would have to survive through all of that transport and all of those circumstances,”She told Canadian media that she added: “it would be highly unlikely that that could ever transmit COVID-19.”
Yang Zhanqiu, the Chinese virologist, said earlier that the virus would survive at ambient temperatures for up to seven days and at lower temperatures for many more. Canada’s health officials didn’t appear to be convinced by China’s arguments, though.
“While mail may be contaminated, the risk of COVID-19 infection when handling paper mail or cardboard packages, including international mail, is extremely low,” Canada’s Public Health Agency said in a statement.
A host of Canadian experts questioned by the nation’s media rushed to dispute the Chinese claims. Some of them were also quick to assume politics might be the driving factor behind China’s statements. “Sino-Canadian relations are in poor shape, and China may be very keen to counter accusations that it infected the world, with these sorts of narratives,”CTV News was informed by Dr. Colin Furness from University of Toronto.
Beijing has not responded to Ottawa’s doubts so far.