Quebec’s health ministry investigating 3 potential new coronavirus cases

Three people in Quebec are being tested for the new coronavirus. Photo by Arne Dedert / Picture alliance via Getty Images

Three people in Quebec are being tested for the new coronavirus, the province’s health and social services ministry confirmed late Monday night.

In a statement online, the ministry reiterated that “no probable or confirmed case of the new 2019 coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has been reported in Quebec.” However, it said three people were still being tested for the virus as of Jan. 27 while a fourth patient had recently tested negative.

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The news comes less than a week after the province’s public health agency ruled out five potential cases of the new coronavirus after testing those patients.

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Earlier on Monday, health officials in Toronto confirmed a second presumptive case of the new coronavirus. The patient, who is reportedly in self-isolation, is the spouse of the person with the first confirmed case of the new coronavirus in Canada.

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The Ministry of Health stressed that none of the potential cases under investigation has been confirmed yet, adding that even if a case were confirmed in Quebec, “the risk of transmission of the disease in the community still remains low.”

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The new coronavirus, officially known as 2019-nCoV, is believed to have originated at a seafood market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

Over 100 people have been killed by the virus and at least 4,500 infected. The overwhelming majority of confirmed cases have been in mainland China, but a small number of cases have been confirmed across the rest of East Asia, as well as in the United States, France, Germany and Canada.