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CORONAVIRUS: Israel closes borders, Canada avoids 'knee-jerk reactions'

One instance where this contrast can be seen is when looking at the difference in approach between Canada and Israel.
Sam Edwards High Level, Alberta

As the coronavirus continues to spread throughout the world, many countries are taking precautions to protect their citizens and to stop the virus from spreading more than it already has.

But some are doing more than others.

One instance where this contrast can be seen is when looking at the difference in approach between Canada and Israel. Israel has decided that it will not be taking any chances with the deadly virus and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced serious measures that are still being implemented.

Canada, on the other hand, has not made any drastic changes under the leadership of Prime Minister Trudeau since the outbreak in Wuhan, China.

Israel has taken drastic precautions including closing its borders. In a press conference on Sunday where Prime Minister Netanyahu discussed the issue, he said, "The steps we have taken have proved themselves and we can see it in the numbers."

Netanyahu also issued a mandatory 14 day quarantine for all who arrive or return to the country. Israelis are required to do a 14 day self-quarantine while non-Israeli citizens will be forced to prove that they can self-quarantine for the 14-day period.

In a statement Netanyahu said, “After a day of complex discussions, we made a decision: everyone who comes to Israel from abroad will enter the 14-day isolation.”

“This is a tough decision, but it is essential to maintain public health — and public health precedes everything.”

According to the BBC, there are approximately 268,000 Israelis who are currently out of the country and will have to self quarantine upon their return. There have been 42 reported cases of coronavirus in Israel so far, with no deaths confirmed.

Canada has taken far less serious measures as Prime Minister Trudeau has been reluctant to make any drastic decisions on the issue.

So far, Trudeau has not made any travel bans but suggested that people avoid non-essential travel to China, Northern Italy, and Iran. The government has also added to be cautious toward travel to Japan.

“We take the international spread of COVID-19 seriously, and Canadians can be assured that their government and health officials are working tirelessly to keep them safe,” said Trudeau in a news release.

Trudeau’s other plan of action involved appointing a “special cabinet committee.”

“This new committee will continue to monitor the health and economic impacts of the virus, and make sure our response takes all possible measures to prevent and limit the spread of the virus in Canada,” he said.

Trudeau also noted that “knee-jerk reactions” are not going to keep Canadians safe when defending the decision not to close Canada’s borders to people coming from outbreak areas.

Trudeau is responding to the coronavirus in a similar way that he responded to the rail blockades—by avoiding making any decisions that could offend or hurt anyone's feelings.

There are now a total of 77 cases of coronavirus reported in Canada with 34 in Ontario and 32 in BC. There has been 1 recorded death so far.

There are approximately 116,000 cases worldwide and over 4,000 recorded deaths. So far approximately 64,000 people have recovered from the virus.

More information on Israel's self quarantine which will begin on March 12, 2020:

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