4 new cases of COVID-19 in Ontario bring Canada’s total to 24

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Ontario Health Minister weighs in on COVID-19 outbreak and province’s response
WATCH ABOVE: Ontario Health Minister weighs in on COVID-19 outbreak and province’s response – Mar 2, 2020

UPDATE: On Monday March 2, Ontario officials announced three more cases in the province, bringing the total up to 18 in Ontario, and 27 in Canada. Read more here. 

Four new cases of the novel coronavirus were confirmed in Ontario on Sunday.

Each of the patients were diagnosed at hospitals in the Greater Toronto Area, health officials said.

“As a result of the co-ordinated efforts of our health care and public health system, all individuals who have tested positive have been quickly assessed and isolated,” the province’s ministry of health said in a statement.

All of the new cases are tied to travel. Health officials did not comment on the patients’ conditions but said they are all currently in self-isolation.

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One patient, a man in his 50s who is a Toronto resident temporarily living in Vaughan, Ont., is the brother of a Toronto man who also travelled to Iran and was later diagnosed with COVID-19.

He is currently in self-isolation after being treated at Mackenzie Health Hospital in Richmond Hill, Ont., on Friday, according to the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care.

A man in his 60s was diagnosed after appearing at North York General Hospital’s emergency department with symptoms on Friday. He had also travelled to Iran.

Another one of the patients is the spouse of a woman who also has the illness. Officials say he travelled to Iran with his wife and daughter but did not have symptoms of the new coronavirus on flights. He was assessed and tested at Mackenzie Health Hospital.

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“He had self-isolated prior to developing symptoms and has had no community exposure while symptomatic,” officials said.
The fourth patient, a woman in her 70s from Newmarket, Ont., had recently visited Egypt. The person she travelled with has also been diagnosed, a case that had been previously announced.

The four additional cases bring the number of Canadian COVID-19 diagnoses to 24. There are eight confirmed cases in B.C. and one in Quebec, while the rest of the patients are from Ontario. Three of the Ontario patients have recovered from the illness.

COVID-19 started in China and has led to more than 3,000 deaths. The World Health Organization says as of March 1, there have been more than 87,000 cases reported, the vast majority in China, though the illness has spread to nearly 60 countries.

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Canadian health authorities have stressed that the risk of an outbreak in Canada remains low.

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“At this time, the virus is not circulating locally,” the statement from Ontario’s health ministry said. “However, given the global circumstances, Ontario is actively working with city and health partners to plan for the potential of local spread.”

The Public Health Agency of Canada has asked travellers to monitor themselves for fever, cough and difficulty breathing for two weeks after returning home.

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