COVID-19 in Canada: Quebec announces its first probable novel coronavirus case

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      Quebec has located its first case of COVID-19, or the novel coronavirus.

      Today (February 27), the Quebec provincial government announced that one probable case of COVID-19 has been detected in a woman who recently returned to Montreal from Iran via Qatar.

      She reported her symptoms to a clinic, has had limited contact with other people, and was put in isolation at a hospital.

      Samples have been sent for confirmation from the National Microbiology Lab (NML) in Winnipeg.

      If the Quebec case is confirmed by the NML, it will be the nation’s 14th case.

      There are currently 21 other individuals under investigation in Quebec for the virus.

      The Quebec case follows the country’s 13th case also announced today, which was detected in the husband of a woman who returned from Iran (who is Canada’s 12th case). Both are in Toronto and are Ontario’s fifth and sixth cases.

      B.C.’s sixth and seventh cases were found in a woman in the Fraser Health Region who also returned from Iran, who later infected a man in close contact with her.

      Iran has reported a sudden increase in its number of cases, rising to 245 cases. It now has the third largest number of cases outside mainland China, following South Korea (with just over 2,000 cases) and Italy (with 655 cases).

      The Canadian government has raised the travel health risk level to those countries to Level 2, which recommends exercising a high degree of caution.

      Meanwhile, the second group of repatriated Canadians from Wuhan, China, were released today from quarantine at the Canadian Forces Base Trenton in Ontario after arriving in Canada on February 11.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook