Toronto (Canada), 20 January. Canadian authorities this Friday announced the start of a pilot program that will analyze wastewater from flights to China and Hong Kong to search for new variants of the virus that causes COVID-19.
The wastewater analysis will be limited to Toronto and Vancouver airports, the busiest in Canada.
Canada’s health minister, Jean-Yves Duclos, revealed during a press conference this Friday that officials will begin analyzing wastewater from flights arriving from China and Hong Kong in late January.
“This will give us a greater ability to monitor the presence of variants coming into Canada,” explained Duclos, who said the analysis of wastewater is “critical” so that health officials can detect the presence of diseases such as COVID-19.
Beginning in 2023, travelers from China, Hong Kong and Macao will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test for flights to Canada.
Also today, Canadian health officials asked the population to receive booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines for fear of the spread of new Omicron variants, such as XBB.1.5 popularly known as “Kraken” .
Although most Canadians have received two doses of COVID-19 vaccines, the number of people receiving booster doses has declined over the past six months. efe