Canadian PM self-isolating over COVID-19 fears

Canadian Prime Minister (PM) Justin Trudeau is self-isolating over coronavirus fears, his office has announced.

Mr Trudeau’s wife, Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau, began to show mild symptoms of illness late on Wednesday after a speaking engagement in the UK.

The couple are staying home until the tests results are returned. Mr Trudeau is not exhibiting any symptoms.

There are currently approximately 103 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Canada.

Under his doctor’s advice, he is continuing daily activities while monitoring his health but “out of an abundance of caution” he is working from home, the statement said.

Mr Trudeau was scheduled to hold meetings over the next two days in Ottawa with provincial premiers and First Nations leaders.

Those meetings have been postponed.

Mr Trudeau will now be speaking with those provincial counterparts over the phone, with the topic focusing on Canada’s response to the pandemic, said the prime minister’s office in a statement on Thursday morning.

Mrs Gregoire-Trudeau began to show mild flu-like symptom including a low fever on late on Wednesday night after returning from London. Her symptoms have since subsided.

“The prime minister will spend the day in briefings, phone calls and virtual meetings from home including speaking with other world leaders and joining the special Covid-19 cabinet committee discussion,” his office said.

There are currently approximately 103 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Canada, in the provinces of British Columbia, Ontario, Alberta, Quebec, and Manitoba. There has been one death linked to the disease.

Canada announced on Wednesday a C$1bn ($728m; £562m) coronavirus response fund to deal with the pandemic.

The funding package will help the country address the domestic impact of the virus and to support further research, including vaccine development.

Mr Trudeau said his government was ready to do more if the situation warranted.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, the prime minister urged Canadians to follow the recommendations of public health officials in order to help slow the spread of the disease and to avoid overburdening the health care system. -BBC

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