Three new COVID-19 Toronto cases found as Canada deters non-essential travel to Italy

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      Update: B.C. has confirmed its ninth case while Washington state, which declared a state of emergency, has confirmed nine deaths. For more information, see this article

      Original article (March 2):

      After several new cases of COVID-19, or the novel coronavirus, in Ontario were announced on the weekend, more cases were announced today (March 2) while the Canadian government increased the travel risk level to some countries.

      Ontario reported three new cases of the virus, all in the Toronto area, bringing the province’s total to 18.

      Two of the cases were detected in women in their 60s and 70s who returned from Egypt on February 20. The third case was found in a man in his 60s who returned from Iran on February 23.

      Previously on March 1, Ontario announced four cases. Three of the cases were linked to travel in Iran or being in close contact with another person who had COVID-19 after travels to Iran. The fourth case was a woman who had traveled to Egypt with a man previously announced with COVID-19.

      The majority of the most recent cases in Canada have been linked to travel in Iran.

      Canada is now at 27 cases, with eight in British Columbia and one in Quebec. There have been seven recoveries so far.

      The United States has 100 cases with six deaths and nine recoveries.

      Today, the federal government raised the travel health risk level for Japan (274 cases) from Level 1 to Level 2, which indicates travelers should take special precautions.

      South Korea (4,800 cases) is listed at Level 2. However, the cities of Daegu and Cheongdo are listed at Level 3, or avoid non-essential travel. These areas are considered high risk where transmission of the virus has been widespread.

      Meanwhile, Canada has raised the travel health risk advisory for Northern Italy (over 2,000 for Italy) from Level 2 to Level 3, meaning avoid all non-essential travel to the region.

      The advisory includes the Aosta Valley, Piedmont, Liguria, Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, and Trentino-Alto Adige.

      The notice states that widespread transmission is being reported in northern regions of Italy and that several other countries are reporting confirmed cases linked to travel in Italy.

      Both Iran (1,500 cases) and China (over 80,100) are listed at Level 3, which China’s Hubei province listed at Level 4, meaning avoid all travel to the area.

      The B.C. government is asking all travelers from Iran and China to self-isolate for 14 days after arrival in Canada. All other travelers returning to B.C. from outside Canada are being asked to monitor themselves and their family members for symptoms.

      Worldwide, there are over 90,900 cases with over 3,100 deaths and over 48,100 recoveries.

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