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National lab confirms coronavirus in Toronto man, test results on others pending: Health officials

Last Updated Jan 27, 2020 at 7:04 pm MDT

Ontario has its first confirmed case of novel coronavirus and test results are pending on at least 20 others, the province’s Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Barbara Yaffe, announced during an update on Monday morning.

Dr. Yaffe said the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg has now confirmed coronavirus in a Toronto man who is currently at Sunnybrook Hospital.

The man’s wife is considered “presumptive-confirmed” until her results from the national lab are completed. She remains under self-isolation at home in stable condition.

Nineteen other people have been tested and results are pending, Yaffe added. The majority of them are in hospital and Yaffe said: “quite a few are in Toronto.”

Coronavirus has been ruled out in another 15 or 16 people.

Public health officials have said the man in his 50s began showing mild symptoms on his China Southern Airlines flight from Guangzhou, China, to Toronto. His wife was on the same flight.

“There have been a number of cases in several countries now, and all those cases in other countries have been travel-related,” Yaffe noted. “We do know there has been evidence of limited transmission human-to-human in close contact.”

“The two cases are a married couple who arrived at Pearson International Airport on January 22,” she explained.

The husband arrived at Sunnybrook hospital by ambulance the next day and Yaffe says paramedics arrived in protective equipment, placing the man in isolation in a negative pressure room where he remains stable.

Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams, says the risk to Ontarians remains low.

“The second case also reminds us that not all people who contract coronavirus experience severe symptoms,” he added. “As of today she (the man’s wife) has not been in need of the same acute hospital care required by her husband.”

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