Canadian Health Minister Patty Hadju
Canadian Health Minister Patty Hadju
International

Canadian Health Minister’s advice to stockpile supplies draws flak

Agency News

Canadian Health Minister Patty Hadju’s advice to stockpile supplies in view of COVID 19 has drawn flak from many quarters.

Despite the low risk of contracting the virus in Canada, federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu suggested last week that people stockpile food and medication in case they or a family member get sick and need to stay at home under quarantine.

But rejecting Patty Hajdu’s advice to stockpile, Federal Conservative health critic Matt Jeneroux said he was caught off guard by the Hajdu’s message last week, especially since she reiterated for several weeks that the risk to Canadians was still low.

After Health Minister’s advice, shoppers across the country were loading carts with everything from gas cans to cat litter in response to warnings from top health officials to stock up on supplies in case of a major outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Canada.

Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott also marked a disjointer with Hajdu saying she doesn’t believe stockpiling of goods is necessary.

At a briefing where she confirmed three new cases of the virus in Ontario, Elliott urged people to go about their lives, while being cautious, and said anyone with symptoms should contact their local public health unit.

Federal Conservative health critic Matt Jeneroux said he was caught off guard by the Hajdu’s message last week, especially since she reiterated for several weeks that the risk to Canadians was still low.

The message to stockpile can evoke a lot of public concern, he said, and he hasn’t heard any specific details to back it up.

Hajdu in her advice said: “It’s good to be prepared because things can change quickly,” Hajdu said last week. Social media posts over the weekend described “pandemonium” at some bulk-buying stores, like Costco, as people stocked up on toilet paper, disinfectant wipes and groceries. The message to stockpile can evoke a lot of public concern, he said, and he hasn’t heard any specific details to back it up.

But contradicting Hajdu, Federal Conservative health critic Matt Jeneroux said: “Food and medicine can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people”. “We’d love to see more transparency in terms of what to expect. I think this is something most Canadians are curious about,” Jeneroux added.

He said a local pharmacy in his Edmonton riding recently ran out of masks because people felt the need to stock up on protective supplies, perhaps unnecessarily.

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