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

B.C. COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

’Not out of the woods yet’ as next two weeks are critical

Interior Health issues alert following confirmed COVID-19 case on WestJet flight

The public exposure alert comes following the March 21 WestJet flight from Calgary to Kamloops

Some big city shoppers heading to small towns to stock up

With the cupboard bare in many large centres, shoppers are flocking to places like Ashcroft

Bail granted to man charged in killing at Cache Creek home

Corey Harkness, 32, is charged with one count of second-degree murder

COVID-19 information: Transfer stations, Eco-Depots limit loads

Extend driver’s licences online, stay safe outdoors, get municipal government information, and more

Trudeau announces 75% wage subsidy for small businesses amid COVID-19

This is up from the previously announced 10 per cent wage subsidy

World update, 9:30 p.m. March 27: Positive news in Korea as U.S. hits 100,000 cases

The United States now has the most coronavirus cases of any country in the world

VIDEO: Penguins roam empty halls of Vancouver Aquarium

COVID-19 has forced the Vancouver Aquarium to close access to guests – leaving room for its residents

Kids get back to learning in B.C., online

Ministry of Education rolls out new tool for school

67 more B.C. COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Vancouver region

Positive tests found in Surrey, Langley long-term care facilities

‘Now is not the time to bag that peak’: BCSAR manager discourages risky outdoor adventures

Call volumes are not going down, even as the COVID-19 pandemic persists

Food Banks BC already seeing surge in demand due to COVID-19 pandemic

Executive director Laura Lansink said they expect applications will keep increasing

Nanaimo couple caught aboard cruise ship with four dead and COVID-19 present

Four ‘older guests’ have died on Holland America’s Zaandam; cruise line confirms two COVID-19 cases

Frontline workers receiving COVID-19 isolation exemptions prompt concerns

Provincial Health Authority staff exempt from self-isolation upon return from international travel

Most Read