Ontario now investigating 62 cases of coronavirus

Feb 6 2020, 8:55 am

The Government of Ontario said that 62 possible cases of coronavirus are under investigation in the province.

This number is up from Tuesday, which was 34, according to the daily updated status provided by the provincial government.

The province said that the total number of patients approved for the testing to date is 169.

Of those, 104 were confirmed negative on both the local and national level, at the Winnipeg lab.

There are currently no presumptive negative patients.

The number of confirmed cases nationally is up to five, including three in Ontario, and two in BC. The first two cases were discovered in Toronto — a husband and wife in their mid-50s — who are both confirmed to be at home.

The third Ontario patient was a female in her 20s, who has recovered and is well, according to health officials last week.

In an update this week, Dr. Eileen de Villa, Medical Officer of Health, Toronto Public Health, said that the risk to the community remains low.

Government of Ontario

“Currently, there are only two confirmed cases of this virus in Toronto. Both of these people are recovering well at home in isolation and Toronto Public Health staff continue to connect with them directly to monitor their symptoms and ensure that they remain isolated at home,” she said.

“While I truly appreciate that this situation and the associated uncertainties are stressful for many people, I think it is important to remember that the novel coronavirus was only identified about a month ago,” Dr. de Villa added.

“The science on this matter is quickly unfolding, and it is being updated and shared with health experts expeditiously. As your Medical Officer of Health, I see this as good news and it gives me great reassurance and confidence in our public health system.”

In an update last week, officials said a “small number of people” under investigation were on the same flight as the confirmed couple. According to Toronto Public Health, the man and woman who were Ontario’s first confirmed cases recently returned from Wuhan/China on China Southern Airlines flight CZ311, which arrived in Toronto on January 22 from Guangzhou.

While officials only released information about the January 22 flight, Air Canada announced that it would temporarily suspend all direct flights to Beijing and Shanghai until February 29.

The suspension follows the Government of Canada’s advisory to avoid non-essential travel to mainland China in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak.

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global health emergency as a result of the outbreak during the past week.

Toronto Public Health says there is currently no vaccine to prevent the novel coronavirus.

“The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus,” they said.

Their suggested prevention measures include:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
  • Stay home when you are ill.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately throw the tissue in the garbage and wash your hands.
  • If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve or arm.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

This story is accurate as of 11:30 am ET on February, 6