Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, has tested positive for COVID-19, his office said on Thursday, while assuring the public that the nation’s leader is fine.
The couple on Thursday announce that they were self-isolating while she was tested for coronavirus after a public event.
“Sophie Gregoire Trudeau was tested for COVID-19 today. The test came back positive,” the office said in a statement, adding that she would remain in isolation and her symptoms were mild.
“The prime minister is in good health with no symptoms,” the statement said, adding that he would also be in isolation for two weeks and — on the advice of his doctors — would not be tested for the virus.
It follows several provinces in Canada, which so far has reported nearly 150 cases in six states and one death, unveiling stricter measures to combat the spread of the virus, while sporting events and entertainment galas were canceled.
The prime minister would continue his duties and he would address the country today, his office said.
Justin Trudeau, 48, held several meetings over the phone on Thursday, including with the special Cabinet committee on COVID-19, and also spoke with the leaders of Italy, the US and Britain, his office said.
He was to talk with indigenous leaders yesterday, as well as provincial and territorial premiers, to coordinate Canada’s response to the virus and “limit the economic impact on the country,” the office said.
After experiencing some mild symptoms following her return from the UK, according to an earlier statement, Gregoire-Trudeau immediately sought medical advice and testing.
“Although I’m experiencing uncomfortable symptoms of the virus, I will be back on my feet soon,” she said in a message via the office. “Being in quarantine at home is nothing compared to other Canadian families who might be going through this and for those facing more serious health concerns.”
Most of Canada’s cases have been traced to China, Iran, Italy or Egypt, but seven people who recently returned from the US also tested positive, public health authorities said.
In parliament, Canadian Minister of Health Patty Hajdu urged people to “reconsider going to areas where there are a large number of people, which might include places like churches, community centers, concerts and various sporting events.”
Quebec Premier Francois Legault unveiled the strongest emergency measures yet in Canada, asking all travelers returning from overseas trips or anyone exhibiting flu-like symptoms to self-isolate for two weeks.
A ban on indoor gatherings of more than 250 people was announced, with Montreal’s Saint Patrick’s Day parade — held since 1824 — postponed.
Quebec, which has 13 confirmed cases of the virus, is also considering placing the entire island of Montreal — a population of nearly 2 million — under quarantine.
In Ontario, public health officials announced that public schools would be shut until April 5.
The Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television canceled this year’s Canadian Screen Awards — scheduled to air on March 29 — and the country’s Juno music awards, planned for tomorrow, were also scrapped.
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