Canadian PM Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau are self-isolating after she came down with flu-like symptoms and was tested for the new coronavirus, according to an official statement on March 12.
Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau began to show mild symptoms of illness late on March 11 after a speaking engagement in the UK.
Justin Trudeau is not exhibiting any symptoms.
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.
Under his doctor’s advice, the prime minister is continuing daily activities while monitoring his health but “out of an abundance of caution” he is working from home, the statement said.
A number of politicians around the globe have been self-isolating in recent days after coming into possible contact with the virus, including five senior US Republicans and a Canadian cabinet minister.
PM Trudeau is among the first world leaders to take the precautionary step. Mongolia’s president recently returned to work following a 14-day quarantine after a visit to China in February.
Justin 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.
The prime minister will now be speaking with those provincial counterparts over the phone, with the topic focusing on Canada’s response to the pandemic, said his office in a statement on March 12.
“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,” Justin Trudeau’s office said.
Another federal party leader, the NDP’s Jagmeet Singh, said on March 12 he was also staying at home because he was feeling unwell, though doctors have told him that his symptoms are not consistent with the coronavirus.
He tweeted: “Their advice is for me to limit contact with the public until I am feeling better.”
There are currently approximately 103 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Canada,
On March 11, Canada announced on a C$1 billion ($728 million) coronavirus response fund to deal with the pandemic.
The funding package will help Canada address the domestic impact of the virus and to support further research, including vaccine development.
PM Justin Trudeau said his government was ready to do more if the situation warranted.
Speaking to reporters on March 11, Justin Trudeau 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.