Canada probing apparent local coronavirus transmission

By: AFP      Published: 01:33 AM, 7 Mar, 2020
Canada probing apparent local coronavirus transmission

A woman in her 50s living in the Vancouver area has been identified by health authorities as the first apparent case of local transmission of the novel coronavirus in Canada.

Officials said in a statement late Thursday that the woman had not recently taken any trips nor had known contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

She was diagnosed while being screened for influenza.

“This is a community case and we are doing a detailed investigation right now to try and determine where her source of infection was,” British Columbia health officer Bonnie Henry said.

The case suggests the virus is spreading in the country. As of Friday, Canada had 51 confirmed cases.

Health Minister Patty Hajdu, meanwhile, announced an increase in funding for COVID-19 research to Can$27 million after an initial sum was deemed insufficient. The funds will be split between 47 research teams.

Meanwhile, 129 Canadians who were mostly confined for two weeks to their rooms aboard the coronavirus-stricken Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan and then quarantined for 14 days after returning to Canada were allowed to go home.