Passengers wear masks to prevent an outbreak of a new coronavirus in a subway station, in Hong Kong, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Ontario announces Canada’s fourth case of novel coronavirus

Three cases now in Ontario, with one patient in B.C.

Ontario health officials say the province now has a third confirmed case of the novel coronavirus, bringing Canada’s total number of cases to four.

Ontario’s chief medical officer of health says the latest case is a woman in her 20s in London, Ont., who travelled to the affected area in China.

Dr. David Williams says initial testing in Ontario showed the woman was negative for the virus, but tests at the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg came back as “weakly” positive.

Officials say the woman had no symptoms when she returned to Canada, only left her home to go to hospital, and staff there wore protective gear.

Earlier today, a Toronto hospital discharged a man who had Canada’s first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus.

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre says he is now recovering at home along with his wife, who also became ill with the virus.

“Over the course of the week, his status continued to improve to the point where he no longer required in-patient care,” the hospital said in a statement. “Sunnybrook has liaised with Toronto Public Health, who will continue to monitor the patient in his home.”

The man in his 50s travelled to Toronto from China last week and was Canada’s first case of the virus. The patient’s wife, who travelled with him, also became ill, but had less severe symptoms and has been in self-isolation at home.

Canada’s other confirmed case is a person in British Columbia, who has also been in isolation at home. That case is also linked to recent travel.

The novel coronavirus has now infected almost 10,000 people around the world and the World Health Organization has declared the outbreak a global health emergency.

As of Friday morning, China counted 9,692 confirmed cases with a death toll of 213. The vast majority of the cases have been in Hubei province and its provincial capital, Wuhan, where the first illnesses were detected in December. No deaths have been reported outside China.

Canadian officials have said the measures to prevent the spread of the illness in this country are working and there’s no need to change the plans.

The Canadian Press

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