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Coronavirus risk remains low in Canada despite first presumptive case: Health officials

Canada‘s federal government says the first reported presumptive case of coronavirus in Toronto was “not unexpected,” and that additional cases could occur in the near future.

However, at a press conference Sunday morning, Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer said that despite the presumptive case, the risk to Canadians remains low.

She said person-to-person spread has been reported in close-contact only.

“Any imported cases we will be rapidly preventing and further spread from that case,” she said.

Canadians should take regular precautions to protect themselves against respiratory illnesses, she added.

A day earlier Ontario Health officials announced that man in his 50s had been diagnosed with a “presumptive” case of coronavirus in Toronto.

According to officials, the man had recently travelled to Wuhan, China, which is believed to be the epicentre of the virus’ outbreak.

Officials are now awaiting testing from Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory to confirm the man’s case.

According to Tam, the man reported to local health officials that he was experiencing flu-like symptoms while on the plane.

She said the man was on board Southern China Airline’s flight CZ311 from Guangzhou to Toronto and that plane contact-tracing is now underway.

“I think the right approach out of all precautions is to inform passengers that were in close proximity of that patient,” she said.

She said officials will now be working “very rapidly” to do so.

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