On March 25, GSL Director Steven Hoffman spoke with the Canadian news agency The Canadian Press about the contents of the 2005 Quarantine Act, and how the government now plans to use it to curb the spread of COVID-19. He further commented on reports that many residents in Ontario who are waiting on elective surgeries and non-vital medical appointments are encouraged to postpone.
In regards to the Quarantine Act, Hoffman clarified that it is always active and used on a regular basis for certain individuals entering Canada from abroad. The use of the Act in such a broad measure as decided by the government on March 25, has no precedence in Canadian history. Hoffman speculated that the government took the step of invoking the Quarantine Act for all arrivals to Canada, because a significant enough number of people didn’t heed the strong request to self-isolate after arriving in Canada. The quotes have been picked up by the National Post.
On the issue of postponed surgeries and medical appointments, Hoffman commented that there is a chance that COVID-19 demands could lead to deaths from other causes. During the Ebola outbreak of 2014 to 2016, according to a study, more people died from a lack of health-care access for non-Ebola needs than Ebola itself. All these postponed surgeries and appointments, however, could pile up and lead to challenges of health care access in the long run. These quotes have been picked up by the National Post and CityNews.