Man detained in Trudeau quarantine hotel gets COVID, infects entire family

"We didn't break any rules, we did what we were supposed to do and even following the protocol, we got sick from the variant of concern."


A Toronto man is criticizing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's mandatory quarantine hotels after he became infected with coronavirus and spread it to his entire family, CP24 reports.

Syed Shah returned from Pakistan in early March before staying at a nearby Sheraton hotel, where he remained during his mandatory coronavirus quarantine under the Trudeau government's travel rules. He took a coronavirus test upon arrival, which came back negative. His stay at the hotel cost him over $1,500.

Five days after leaving the hotel, Shah's entire family came down with symptoms of coronavirus. While Shah himself could not get tested due to the mandatory quarantine, his family was able to get themselves tested. They all tested positive for the UK variant of the virus.

While the family believes that Shah caught the virus during his stay at the quarantine hotel, health officials appeared uninterested in listening to his concerns on the matter.

The Public Health Agency of Canada said they were aware of the claims made by Shah and his family, but did not otherwise comment on the accusations. Toronto Public Health also declined to comment, but said that they would not perform contact tracing in his case in accordance with the city's coronavirus guidelines.

"I am pretty angry," said Syed Haider, Shah's son. "We didn't break any rules, we did what we were supposed to do and even following the protocol, we got sick from the variant of concern.

"What if I brought my dad home and still got sick and not pay that $1,400? What's the point of spending the money if we're going to get sick anyways?"

Shah also criticized the conditions of his detainment in the quarantine hotel.

"I can’t believe this is a Sheraton," he said. "They don't have water – the hot water wasn't working – the phones were down."

Shah also noted that the Wi-Fi at the hotel was lackluster, so instead of using WhatsApp as he usually does to contact his family, he instead attempted to use the hotel phones to contact his family. Despite paying for his use of the phones, the calls he made never came through to his home.

The ordeal raises questions surrounding the efficacy of Trudeau's quarantine hotels, which the government has admitted they have "incomplete" evidence for.

The hotels have been heavily criticized by conservatives and civil libertarians, arguing that the mandatory quarantine hotels amount to arbitrary detention given that they receive no criminal charges before being forced to remain within them and the threat of fine for those who choose not to stay.

A number of sexual assaults have also taken place within the quarantine hotels, and many have expressed frustration with the lackluster accommodations made for guests.


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