The first presumptive case of coronavirus(COVID-19) in Quebec was announced on Thursday by Health Minister Danielle McCann.
A woman who lives in the Montreal area is thought to have the disease. She recently returned to Canada from Iran. At a press conference the Health Minister announced that the woman entered a health clinic close to Montreal where proper protocol was followed.
She was tested by public health officials in Quebec, and tested positive. The results will still have to be confirmed in Winnipeg at a national laboratory.
The woman is thought to have a relatively mild case of the virus. She has returned to her home and is in isolation there. Health officials noted that it is unlikely that the woman has used public transit or worked and hasn’t had much contact with others since she returned from Iran.
“There is no need to worry,” said McCann, according to CTV News. “All measures are being taken to protect the population.”
Quebec health officials are attempting to track down people who may have been in contact with her. The woman’s immediate family has also been placed in isolation.
If the case is confirmed in Winnipeg, it will be Canada’s 14th. Ontario has confirmed six cases and BC has confirmed seven. The Quebec woman’s results are expected to be in Sunday.
Five countries have been added to Quebec’s watch list after the virus began to spread to countries like Iran and Italy. Iran has currently confirmed approximately 250 cases, while it is believed by global health authorities that there may be more than the reported number.
There are 21 more people being tested for the virus in Quebec. So far dozens of people have been tested and all of the results have come back negative until this case.
Health officials noted that it was inevitable that the disease would spread to Quebec. Many travel plans have been canceled and citizens have been collecting respiratory masks and even selling stocks despite officials previously saying that the risk to the population remains low.
Over 80,000 people around the world now have the disease and close to 3000 have died.