Health Canada's January advice to travellers: Wearing a mask in Wuhan, China “is not recommended”

Documents presented to the House of Commons Health Committee show that if asked, Public Safety Canada would advise people not to wear a mask, even while visiting Wuhan during the height of the coronavirus pandemic there.

The documents dated to the end of January are question and answer briefing notes prepared internally for ministry bureaucrats to deal with outside inquiries and to provide information to staff about the coronavirus to then pass on to the public.

Talking points focus on racism, as “overall risk” to Canada of coronavirus is “low”

The docs are rife with misinformation while at the same time cautioning against the spread of misinformation about the Wuhan originated disease, warning that:

“...stigmatizing others, or using racist rhetoric will hinder and not help our collective efforts to tackle this outbreak at home in Canada and worldwide as a global connected community.”

At least two of the prepared responses conclude that “close, prolonged contact with an infected person” is required to contract the disease and that the “overall risk to Canada is low” while also admitting that officials were unclear about how the disease was transmitted.

Official recommendation: No need to wear mask in Wuhan despite lockdown

Question 17 asked:

“Do you recommend travelers wear masks while visiting China or quarantine blocked cities within the country such as Wuhan?”

The answer is shocking:

“No, it is not recommended that healthy travelers wear masks while visiting China or quarantine blocked cities within the country.”

The Canadian government, as late as the end of January, would advise travelers that they didn't need to wear a mask while visiting China and more specifically the city of Wuhan, the viral epicenter and a place that was already under lockdown to prevent the spread of the virus.

The Canadian government is currently planning an authoritarian law against what they determine to be coronavirus misinformation.

It's like one of those horror movies where the scary phone call is coming from inside the house.