Coronavirus: Risk of Outbreak in Canada Remains Low

Ontario’s Ministry of Health has confirmed a second presumptive case of coronavirus in Canada, days after the first was confirmed at Sunnybrook Hospital

Published 26/01/2020  | Updated 27/01/2020

In a news release sent on Monday morning, 27/01,  the province says chief medical officer of health Dr. David Williams has confirmed that the wife of the first coronavirus patient in Canada has also tested positive for the virus at Ontario’s public health laboratory.

Federal health officials expect more cases of the coronavirus, but say the risk of an outbreak in Canada remains low.

Hospitals and International partners

Health Minister Patty Hajdu said officials at all levels of government are working with hospitals and international partners to prevent and respond to potential infections.

“We’re working actively to limit the spread of the virus,” Hajdu said at a news conference in Ottawa Sunday morning after the first “presumptive” case of coronavirus was reported in Toronto.

Hospitals have an “incredibly strong” system to prevent and control infections, she said.

Hajdu said much has been learned from the SARS virus in 2003. Since the first cases of this novel coronavirus were reported in China in December, the federal government has been in close contact with the provincial health authorities and international players to share information in a “collaborative, responsive” approach.

Hajdu said there is considerable misinformation being spread about the virus which “belies the reality” that the risk to Canadians remains extremely low.

While the government does not expect a chartered plane is necessary to evacuate Canadians from the Wuhan region where the outbreak began, Hajdu said Global Affairs Canada stands ready to provide support services for any Canadian trying to leave China.

Two cases of coronavirus: TORONTO

Canada confirmed its first “presumptive” case of coronavirus in Toronto on Saturday, 25/01, after receiving lab results. The patient, a man in his 50s who had recently travelled to Wuhan, China, is isolated at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and is now in stable condition. Family members of the patient are also being closely monitored.

The wife of the first coronavirus patient in Canada has also tested positive for the virus at Ontario’s public health laboratory.

The number of infections worldwide now exceeds 2,000 cases, most of them in China, which reports 56 deaths.

Risk mitigation measures

Risk mitigation measures now in place include messaging on arrival screens at the Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver airports reminding travellers to advise border officials if they are experiencing flu-like symptoms.

Source: CBC / Discover


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