Canada Reports its First Case of Coronavirus

Toronto, MINA – Canada has reported its first case of coronavirus in Toronto.

A male in his 50s tested positive for the SARS-like illness in Canada’s most populous city, Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health David Williams confirmed on Saturday.

The man, who had traveled from Wuhan, China via Guangzhou, arrived in Toronto on Jan. 22 and went to Sunnybrook hospital the following day after feeling ill. The case was confirmed as a presumptive positive case. The patient is in stable condition.

According to Bloomberg, officials are seeking to determine who came in contract with the man in an effort to contain the virus, the health officials said during a press briefing on Saturday in Toronto.

Concern is rising about the speed with which the virus has spread beyond China. In Canada, its similarity to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) has both heightened fears and served as a reminder that the country is in much better position to deal with pandemic than 17 years ago.

Between 2002 and 2003, SARS killed almost 800 people worldwide, with Toronto reporting the highest number of deaths 44 outside Asia. At the time, Canada and particularly Ontario, where most of the nation’s cases occurred were seen as poorly prepared.

“The degree to which we have learned from SARS is tremendous,” Dr. Andy Smith, chief executive officer of Sunnybrook Health Sciences told reporters at the briefing.

Beyond the health threat, there remain fears the virus could derail Canada’s fragile economic growth, mainly through its impact on the global economy. Markets have already been buffeted by the virus, which threatens supply chains and global growth.

On Jan. 23, the World Health Organization stopped short of calling coronavirus a global health emergency , saying it remains a local crisis confined to China. However, with millions of people set to travel over the Chinese New Year, other nations are taking their own steps to slow the spread of the disease.

There are 1,414 confirmed cases worldwide and 41 deaths. Of the deaths that have happened so far, most victims have had other health conditions that weakened their immune systems.(T/R3/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)