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Saskatchewan confirms zero cases of COVID-19, risk remains low: provincial ministry of health

Dr. Saqib Shahab with province’s ministry of health confirms there have been zero cases of the coronavirus in Saskatchewan. Dave Parsons / Global News

There continue to be no confirmed cases of the COVID-19 in Saskatchewan, according to the province’s ministry of health.

To date, 52 people have been tested. Forty-five tests have come back negative with seven pending.

Dr. Saqib Shahab, the ministry’s chief medical health officer, said the risk continues to be low in the province, but are taking measures to ensure it stays that way.

Testing has already expanded in Saskatchewan to include travellers returning not just from China, but from other countries where there is active community transmission. Now, they are asking all travellers to watch for signs.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan health ministry expands coronavirus testing

“If you’ve travelling to anywhere in the world … be aware of the symptoms. If you have a runny nose, take it easy for a day or two and if it goes away, you don’t have to worry,” Shahab said.

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Shahab said more notable coronavirus symptoms include fever, cough and a shortness of breath.

In January, he said most of the cases came from those travelling to and from China, but now cases are showing up from those travelling to and from other high-risk nations such as Iran, Italy, Egypt and India.

Shahab said the ministry is receiving many phone calls from residents planning trips, and is telling people to weigh the risks.

“Always do a risk assessment of your own health. What do you need prior to travelling? Go to a travel clinic…go to the WHO website, go the Public Health Agency [of Canada] website,” Shahab said.
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READ MORE: Saskatchewan health ministry confirms zero coronavirus cases in province

Shahab said the province continues to ask anybody coming back from high-risk areas to self-isolate for at least two weeks and to call the health line when returning.

He said most cases can be cured at home with bed rest, but says cases in which the symptoms are stronger may require a trip to the hospital.

Shahab confirmed there have been more than 1,000 tests done for COVID-19 in Canada and 37 confirmed cases — 13 in British Columbia, 22 in Ontario and two in Quebec.

When it comes to the flu, there have been 14 confirmed deaths in Saskatchewan since Sept. 1, 2019 and 33 ICU admissions.

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