Home Canada Calgary doctor files human rights complaint over changes to mask rules on airplanes

Calgary doctor files human rights complaint over changes to mask rules on airplanes

by News Desk
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Collette Darwallis, Canadian Press



Published on Wednesday, September 28, 2022 at 6:29 PM EDT




CALGARY – A Calgary family doctor has filed a human rights allegation against Ottawa’s decision not to mandate mask-wearing on flights to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The federal government has announced an end to mandatory vaccinations, quarantines and masks on planes and trains starting Saturday.

Dr David Keegan, a cardiologist, said he was very concerned after hearing Monday’s announcement and filed a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission that afternoon.

“Airplanes are relatively small in volume and have people on board,” he said in an interview Wednesday.

“Even if you wear a mask, COVID can still spread. There will be people.”

Keegan said COVID-19 is a deadly and disabling disease that can lead to complex health problems weeks or months after infection.

Public Health Canada continues to strongly recommend that people wear masks, especially in crowded environments such as airplanes and trains.

“The science is clear: wearing a mask is clearly a very effective personal protection measure,” said Dr. Howard Njou, Canada’s Deputy Chief Health Officer. “I hope Canadians make a wise decision on this.”

Keegan, who is also a professor at the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary, said he will continue to wear a mask if travel is necessary.

“The problem is that one-way masking doesn’t offer anywhere near protection as if all parties were masking,” he said. “Since COVID is airborne, just talking to someone with COVID pollutes the air.”

Keegan said if the person wore a mask, it could filter out some of the virus.

“What I want is reasonably clean air, and requiring masking on planes is a great and easy way to keep the shared air on board reasonably low polluted,” he said. He said.

Federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said earlier this week that negative attitudes from some passengers had made it difficult for airlines and crews to enforce mask mandates in recent months. , cited it as a deciding factor.

“This is something we should emphasize because the transmission of COVID variants is, for the most part, domestically based. Masking is highly recommended, but in some ways not enforceable,” said Ducros. said Monday.

But Keegan questioned why the mask mandate would be removed if domestic transmission was causing COVID-19 cases.

“It doesn’t really make sense. I don’t understand the argument,” he said.

“If he’s saying Canada’s COVID is spreading domestically, why on earth delete something important to limit its spread within the country? It makes absolutely no scientific or logical sense. There is none.”

This report by the Canadian Press was first published on September 28, 2022.

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