Montreal has first presumptive case of COVID-19: Quebec health minister

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Quebec has its first presumptive case of the new coronavirus, COVID-19, the province’s Health Minister Danielle McCann said at a press conference on Thursday evening.

McCann said the victim’s first tests came back positive for the virus on Thursday afternoon, but one last remaining test result is needed to officially confirm the case.

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According to the minister, the victim, a woman, returned to Montreal from Iran on Monday and went to the clinic on Tuesday with minor symptoms. 

Health officials said because her symptoms are light, she does not require hospitalization and was asked to stay at home in isolation.

Click to play video: 'Danielle McCann speaks on first Quebec coronavirus case'
Danielle McCann speaks on first Quebec coronavirus case

The woman’s final test results confirming the virus should come in on Sunday, McCann said. The minister added that people who were in the same vicinity as the victim will be contacted, including passengers who were seated close to her on the plane.

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The woman travelled to Montreal on a flight from Doha, Qatar.

Officials said that apart from visiting the clinic where she was diagnosed, the woman’s contacts in Montreal were essentially limited to her immediate family, who are also in isolation. The patient did not take public transit and did not go to a workplace, McCann said.

Officials reiterated that there is no need for Quebecers to worry as the public health risk remains low.

McCann said that the province’s clinics and hospitals are however prepared to deal with an influx of infected patients.

If confirmed, it would be the 14th confirmed case of the virus in Canada, and the first outside Ontario and British Columbia.

–With files from The Canadian Press

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