Ontario Says The Provincial Coronavirus Threat Is Reducing Despite Rising Global Cases
Chief medical officer: "We're sort of coming out of that first wave."
The number of people under investigation for coronavirus in Ontario is seemingly decreasing. That's according to the provincial Chief Medical Officer, who has suggested the province may be "coming out of that first wave" of the illness. However, Dr. David Williams did reveal there are now 29 Ontarian cases being monitored, up from 17 last week.
According to The Canadian Press via CTV News, Ontario's CMO Dr. Williams gave an update on the global virus on Monday, February 3.
"With our data coming through, we have (what) seems like dropping numbers of people under investigation being submitted," he said.
"So, you can see we're sort of coming out of that first wave of individuals who had been in the Hubei province on or before the 24th of January," he added.
According to CBC, 108 tests have been conducted in Ontario as of 10 a.m on February 3. Out of those tests, only three have shown as positive.
As reported by CP24, Ontario's Associate Medical Officer of Health, Barbara Yaffe, disclosed that 76 people in the province have tested negative for the virus. Three people are “presumptive negatives” and 26 others are still awaiting results.
In their update, Williams and Co. also stressed that while it's been around 11 days since China began stopping people from leaving Wuhan, health officials have found that symptoms can appear up to 14 days after exposure.
Williams, though, made sure to emphasize that this 14-day figure is a "cautious number." He clarified that there have been many cases where symptoms had developed between seven and nine days after being exposed.
Meanwhile, a public statement was issued by Toronto's Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa. She reiterated that the two confirmed cases in Toronto, a couple in their 50s,
"I want to remind residents that at this time the risk to our community remains low," says de Villa's statement.
"While I truly appreciate that this situation and the associated uncertainties are stressful for many people, I think it is important to remember that the novel coronavirus was only identified about a month ago."
Meanwhile, the number of global cases has surpassed 17,000, per CBC. Chinese officials say at least 362 people in the country have died as a direct result of novel coronavirus, while 146-plus cases have been confirmed across 23 other countries.
Canadians who have requested to be evacuated from China are set to be flown out of the country on a specially chartered plane by the federal government.
Upon arrival, they will spend 14 days at a military base in Trenton, Ontario, reports CBC.
“We’re trying to set up a process that if they’re going to come, they may need comprehensive care,” said Williams, per CP24.
Passengers who arrive at the Wuhan airport would be screened for any potential symptoms and stopped if they do in fact show any.
“You have to be asymptomatic to get on that plane,” added Williams.
The passengers would then be screened for symptoms once again before boarding the plane. They will later be checked on again during the flight.
Williams said he expects the number of people coming forward for testing in the province to decrease further in the next few days, as reported by CP24.
Narcity reached out to the Ministry of Health for more information.