Advice to stockpile supplies can cause undue concern over COVID-19: Tory MP

news-update

Last week federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu warned people should consider stockpiling food and medicine in case of a potential outbreak of the new coronavirus, despite the relatively low risk of contracting the disease within Canada.

But critics suggest her advice may have been overblown or too vague, prompting other problems.

This past weekend, shoppers stormed clubhouse and grocery stores to stock up on supplies like toilet paper and disinfectant wipes.

Christine Elliot, the health minister of Ontario, where three new cases of the virus were confirmed Monday, says she believes stockpiling is unnecessary, and that people should continue to go about their lives while being cautious.

Federal Conservative health critic Matt Jeneroux says telling people to stockpile can incite a lot of public concern, and that the government should be more specific about the steps people should take to prepare for a possible outbreak.

Other health officials, like Ottawa Public Health's Dr. Vera Etches, says staying well supplied is good standby advice that's always applicable.