Ottawa will need post-mortem review of coronavirus response: Trudeau

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the government plans to ask for a review of how it managed the coronavirus pandemic, but not until the crisis has passed.

Speaking to reporters outside Rideau Cottage at his daily press briefing, Trudeau was asked about what he thinks the government should have done differently in its early handling of the pandemic response.

He said he plans to request a postmortem of the response to look at what can be improved in the future.

READ MORE: Trudeau uncertain he would send his children back to school if they lived in Quebec

“Are there things we could’ve done differently? Certainly, and I know that after, when all of this is finished, there will be people who will have recommendations. We will request a review,” he said in French.

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“We will look at how we can better prepare next time, if there is a next time.”

The comments come after a Sunday night appearance on Tout le monde en parle, Quebec’s most-watched current affairs television program, in which Trudeau was questioned on his government’s response so far to the pandemic and why it didn’t take more aggressive action earlier to close airports.

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“It’s something that we had never done before. We did the best we could. If I could do it all over again, I’m sure there are things we would do differently,” Trudeau said in that French-language interview.

“We have learned a lot from this pandemic. I hope that once this is over, we will learn those lessons and we will do better if there is a next time.

“We weren’t perfect — far from it. But we’ve managed some things better than some countries and some things less well than others, but I think that in general, we’re doing the right things.”

Canada barred most foreign nationals from entering the country by air in March.

READ MORE: Trudeau closes Canadian borders to most foreign travellers amid coronavirus outbreak

That decision shut down all but four major airports to international arrivals in a bid to better contain the spread of the virus coming from abroad in Canada.

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Canadians are still allowed to return from abroad and air crews, diplomats, immediate family members and U.S. citizens are not included in the air travel ban.

The border with the U.S. is also shut down to non-essential travel and Trudeau also faced questions in the interview with Tout le monde en parle about pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump, who is pushing to reopen the American economy as soon as possible.

But the U.S. currently has the most cases of COVID-19 globally experts have cautioned that reopening the border before that country gets its outbreaks under control would put Canadians in danger.

Trudeau said the decision on when to reopen the border wouldn’t be made lightly.

“We will take that decision based on the science, based on the protection of Canadians.”

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