In the last 14 days, 38 international flights to Canada have been identified as carrying passengers who have since developed COVID-19 symptoms. The government maintains a list of all affected flights for a maximum of 14-days.
Many countries have introduced robust policies to try to limit the number of imported COVID-19 cases. For example, many arrivals are currently banned from the United States. Meanwhile, Dubai has mandatory COVID-19 testing. Canada has been taking a different approach by requiring all arrivals from overseas to quarantine for 14 days upon entering the country. Let’s take a look at the data.
When did the flights occur?
The Canadian government maintains a list of international flights that carried passengers with confirmed cases of COVID-19. While not identifying the passenger, the government typically gives the rows around such individuals. This allows others who may have been on the flight to determine that they may be at risk. The full list of affected flights is available here.
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However, many countries are going with a 14-day rule for maintaining COVID-19 tracing chains. For example, after 14 days, previous interactions are deleted from Germany’s Corona-Warn app. Similarly, Canada is only listing each affected flight for 14 days.
Interestingly, the data shows an average of just under four flights. However, no new flights were mentioned from September 4th (Friday) onwards. This could perhaps be that passengers would not be allowed to fly with COVID-19 symptoms, and it takes several days for symptoms to manifest and be confirmed by a COVID-19 test.
Where are the COVID-19 cases coming from?
To further break down the data, Simple Flying decided to sort flights by airline and country of origin. Unsurprisingly, being the leading home carrier, Air Canada operated the most affected flights, with 14 in total being identified as carrying passengers with COVID-19. United Airlines operated six such flights, while Air India operated four. The remaining carriers operated one or two identified flights.
The most affected flights originated in the United States, with a total of 11 flights. Six originated in India, with five in Germany. Jamaica had three such flights, while France and Ethiopia had two. The remaining countries only had one affected flight.
All passengers must quarantine regardless
Regardless of the data, all international arrivals must currently quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in the country. The majority of affected flights landed at Toronto International Airport (YYZ).
Last week, Air Canada launched a voluntary testing initiative at Toronto Airport. While the tests won’t exempt passengers from quarantine, it will be interesting to see whether more flights arriving in Toronto are identified as a result of the trial.
What do you make of the data? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!