A worker adjusts a sign in the empty bread section of a Superstore in Surrey on Saturday, March 15, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)

Resist the urge to panic shop despite COVID-19 fears, Trudeau says

Trudeau said a measured approach will be important in all aspects of life

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged retail restraint on Saturday, cautioning Canadians against panic buying in response to the escalating COVID-19 outbreak.

His remarks came during an interview with CTV’s Question Period in which he discussed the national response to the pandemic that has now sickened more than 300 people across the country.

But amid discussion of testing protocols and possible border shutdowns, Trudeau offered some guidance to the many Canadians who have been flocking to grocery and drug stores in recent days, leaving a swath of empty shelves in their wake.

He said Canada’s supply chains to date have not been affected by the tightening border restrictions around the world, merchandise is still coming across the border, and there’s no need to start hoarding supplies.

“Yes, stock up a little bit so you don’t have to go to the store every two or three days like we usually do, but make sure that you’re not taking more than you need,” he said. “Your neighbours, or vulnerable people, will need to access supplies as well.”

Trudeau said a measured approach will be important in all aspects of life as Canadians navigate the outbreak, which was officially declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization last week.

The number of cases continued to climb across the country on Sunday, with Ontario reporting 39 new cases, bringing the total 142. Health authorities in Quebec reported 11 new cases, while the Manitoba government reported three more in that province.

READ MORE: ‘Business as usual’: B.C. truckers crossing U.S. border despite COVID-19

And authorities in Nova Scotia said the novel form of coronavirus had officially reached that province after three people tested positive for COVID-19.

The total number of cases in Canada currently stands at 313.

Most people diagnosed with COVID-19 experience mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough, and the vast majority of those who contract the virus recover. The Public Health Agency of Canada says the risk to the general population is low.

However, for some, including Canadians aged 65 and over, those with compromised immune systems and those with pre-existing conditions, the illness can be much more severe. Among the Canadians diagnosed with the illness so far, fewer than 15 per cent have required hospitalization.

The growing number of cases has prompted widespread closures of schools and universities, mass cancellation of large-scale events, multimillion-dollar economic stimulus packages from governments, and the suspension of the Parliament until April 20.

Michelle McQuigge, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusJustin Trudeau

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Columbia and Western Trail reopens

A rockslide closed a section of the trail on March 25

Selkirk College starts COVID-19 emergency fund for students

The college has set aside up to $30,000 in matching funds for donations

SD 51 aims to reach students online, working with families to get access to tech

Teachers have been contacting families directly to talk over students’ needs, outlook for e-education

FortisBC offers 90-day bill deferrals to customers impacted by COVID-19

Customers can apply for the relief program through the utility’s website

Grand Forks and Boundary cancellations, changes due to COVID-19

This newspaper’s list of community events, institutions that change or cancel due to pandemic

UPDATE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

B.C. sorting medical equipment sales, donation offers for COVID-19

Supply hub has call out for masks, gowns, coronavirus swabs

B.C. records five more deaths due to COVID-19, 45 new cases

A total of 838 people have recovered from the virus

Major crimes investigating sudden death of North Okanagan child

The 8 year old was flown to Kelowna General Hospital and died hours later

Easter Bunny added to B.C.’s list of essential workers

Premier John Horgan authorizes bunny to spread “eggs-ellent cheer” throughout province

Travellers returning to B.C. must have self-isolation plan or face quarantine: Horgan

Premier John Horgan says forms must be filled out by travellers

More than 400 animals have been adopted amid pandemic: B.C. SPCA

People are taking this time of social distancing to find a loyal companion through the animal welfare group

B.C. secures motel, hotel rooms for COVID-19 shelter space

Community centres, rooms reserved for pandemic self-isolation

Most Read