Canadian PM Trudeau in two-week isolation after wife tests positive for coronavirus

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be isolated for two weeks after his wife Sophie tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday, and the epidemic has prompted the province of Ontario to close schools to limit the spread.

Sophie Gregoire recently returned from London and experienced flu-like symptoms, so she was tested for coronavirus, the office of the Prime Minister said earlier on Thursday. The test came back positive, he said in the evening.

“The Prime Minister is in good health and has no symptoms. As a precaution and on the advice of doctors, he will be isolated for an expected period of 14 days,” said a statement. Sophie will be in quarantine for 14 days.

“The Prime Minister will continue to assume his full office and will speak to Canadians tomorrow.”

In a personal note, Sophie said that she “was experiencing uncomfortable symptoms of the virus”, adding that she “would soon be back on my feet”.

Canada has reported 145 new virus cases, a three-fold increase from last week. There has been one death. Seven of the 10 Canadian provinces have registered infections.

Ontario, the most populous province, reported 17 new cases overnight, an increase of 40%. To contain the virus, authorities ordered the closure of all schools from Saturday to April 5.

Globally, more than 127,000 people have been infected with the life-threatening respiratory disease COVID-19.

In a blow to Canadians obsessed with hockey, the National Hockey League suspended its season due to the outbreak, although it said its goal was to resume play “as soon as it is appropriate and prudent” , so that teams can compete for the Stanley Cup Championship. .

With the Canadian dollar at a four-year low against its US counterpart and stocks plunging, the Bank of Canada has announced measures to inject liquidity into the market.

Working from home Thursday, Trudea spoke with US President Donald Trump, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and joined a special cabinet meeting on the coronavirus by phone, his spokesperson said on Twitter.

The Pacific province of British Columbia, north of Washington State, advises against non-essential foreign travel, including to the United States. Washington is one of the most affected states.

Any warning involving the United States is politically sensitive, given the common border of 5,525 miles (8,890 km) between the two countries and Canada’s overwhelming dependence on bilateral trade.

“This is really important … developments in the United States and around the world are a risk to all of us,” Bonnie Henry, BC chief medical officer of health, told reporters.

Alberta chief physician Deena Hinshaw has banned gatherings of more than 250 people and canceled all international events. Hinshaw also discouraged traveling abroad.

Quebec, which has recorded 13 cases, has banned all indoor events with more than 250 people and said that people returning from any foreign country should isolate themselves for 14 days. Public health and education workers traveling abroad will have to isolate themselves.

In addition, Canadian authorities have canceled the JUNO Music Awards, the Canadian version of the Grammys and the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Toronto have been suspended.

Ottawa on Wednesday committed $ 1 billion Canadian ($ 723 million) to strengthen the health care system and limit the impact of the virus, while Ontario announced Thursday that it has set aside $ 100 million in Canadian funds Reserve”.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said Thursday that the public health crisis would cost the country “far north of $ 10 billion Canadian”.

(REUTERS)