Canada identifies first presumptive confirmed case of coronavirus

27 Janvier, 2020, 03:28 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • Canada identifies first presumptive confirmed case of coronavirus

The first presumptive positive case of the coronavirus has been confirmed in Toronto, but how much of a threat is the new virus to Canadians?

Canada has confirmed its first "presumptive" case of the Wuhan coronavirus in a patient in Toronto.

The officials said at a press conference Saturday evening that the patient was a man in his 50s, who was in stable condition at a Toronto hospital.

Ontario health officials said his family members have been put into self isolation, though the government declined to give the number of people in the family.

Mayor John Tory said health officials say the risk to the public is low.

More than 1,200 people have been infected with the deadly virus that has killed 41.

WHAT'S NEXT: The World Health Organisation (WHO) said the outbreak is an emergency for China but is so far not a global health emergency. Once the results from the local laboratory are confirmed by Canada's National Microbiology Laboratory, the case will be declared the country's first confirmed case of coronavirus. All necessary precautions are being taken to prevent the spread of infection.

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The new virus comes from a large family of what are known as coronaviruses, some causing nothing worse than a cold.

As the new coronavirus claims more lives in China, health authorities in this country are trying to reassure Canadians that plans and procedures are in place to protect them. SARS infected more than 8,000 people and killed almost 800, including 44 Canadians. Toronto was hard hit in that outbreak.

In 2012, another coronavirus dubbed Middle East respiratory syndrome began sickening people in Saudi Arabia.

SARS and MERS came from animals, and this newest virus nearly certainly did, too.

Bustling streets, malls and other public spaces have turned eerily quiet, masks are mandatory in public, and some hospitals have run low on medical supplies.

If the coronavirus does come to Canada Donnelly said "it will still be business as normal", and there will be no mass quarantining of people as authorities have done in Wuhan and at least 15 other Chinese cities populated by more than 50 million people.

The federal government has beefed up measures at major airports in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.

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