Canadians are being told to avoid traveling via cruise ships at all costs by health officials amid the spread of coronavirus. Dr. Theresa Tam, chief public health officer, believes that cruise ships may travel into areas with confirmed or unknown areas of coronavirus hotbeds, according to CTV.
Canada is currently preparing to repatriate 237 Canadians who are aboard a cruise ship called the Grand Princess, that will likely dock in California later Monday. The passengers will be flown to the air force base in Trenton, Ontario, by a charter plane according to Global Affairs Canada.
The Grand Princess is currently linked to six cases of coronavirus in Canada.
Three new cases of coronavirus were announced Monday which prompted Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland to write the provincial premiers to help identify particular problems and to list the supplies they will need to deal with COVID-19 in the future.
Concerns are growing about the impact coronavirus will have on the country’s health care system and economy.
The three new cases of COVID-19 announced Monday brought the total number to 34 for the province of Ontario.
The Grand Princess has 21 people diagnosed with coronavirus aboard the ship, which is carrying more than 3,500 people from 54 countries.
The ship was forbidden to dock in San Francisco once news broke that the vessel was carrying at least 20 cases, including one death.
The passengers will be tested for symptoms before they board the plane, and those who are found to show symptoms will remain in the U.S. for further assessment. According to the government, those without any symptoms will be quarantined for 14 days upon their arrival in Canada.
"We are working hard to help Canadians return home and make sure appropriate measures are in place to prevent and limit the spread of COVID-19," Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said in a written statement.
"The decision to repatriate Canadians on board the Grand Princess follows a request for assistance from the government of the United States, recognizing the importance of closely working together to limit the spread of COVID-19."
There are now more than 111,000 cases globally. The spread is predominantly still in China however massive outbreaks have spread elsewhere, including in South Korea, Iran and Italy.
A map of all confirmed cases can be found here.