In this illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-CDC via AP, File

Canadian standards for coronavirus protection to be reviewed, health agency says

The protocols set out how health workers should protect themselves and their patients

The Public Health Agency of Canada says it will review its protocols for health care workers after nurses’ unions denounced the national guidelines set out for dealing with the novel coronavirus earlier this month.

The agency says feedback from the nurses’ unions and other associations will be considered by a national advisory committee on infection prevention and control as it looks to update the guidance.

The protocols set out how health workers should protect themselves and their patients if they encounter a potential case of the new coronavirus, or COVID-19, including the kind of protective equipment they should use.

The Canadian Federation of Nurses’ Unions wrote to Health Minister Patty Hajdu last week to tell her the guidelines are unacceptable since they assume the virus cannot spread easily through the air, only through larger droplets from coughing or sneezing.

In a statement Monday, the Canadian agency says the guidelines were approved by a special advisory committee of federal and provincial representatives.

Though Canada’s current federal guidelines are in line with World Health Organization recommendations, both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States and its European counterpart call for added precautions to protect against the possibility the disease is airborne.

READ MORE: Canadian nurses’ unions warn national standards for coronavirus protection too low

READ MORE: Japan confirms 99 more cases of new virus on cruise ship

The Canadian Press


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