19 new coronavirus cases bring Ontario's total to 79
Ontario's Ministry of Health just confirmed another 19 cases of COVID-19 within the province, bringing the total number of those infected by the 2019 novel coronavirus to 79.
As of 10:30 a.m. on March 13, public health officials are reporting 74 active cases of the virus across Ontario. Another 580 patients are currently under investigation within the province, and five have now recovered from their illnesses.
The newly-confirmed cases include six people in their 20s, two people in their 40s, one person in their 50s, three people in their 60s, two people in their 70s, and one person in their 80s.
Details for six other cases, all of them based in Toronto, are still pending.
With the exception of those six cases and the one involving a male patient in his 80s, all of the new cases are related either to travel or to close contact with someone who recently travelled to Egypt, the U.S., England or a yet-to-be-disclosed country.
Close to half of infections are US travel related in Ontario https://t.co/aUuZCtKxQj— Sean O'Dwyer (@SeanOnThat) March 13, 2020
"The health and well-being of Ontarians is our government's number one priority," reads a media release issued by the province Friday morning.
"Based on the advice of Dr. David Williams, Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, and the experts at the province's Command Table, we have been taking decisive steps to contain the virus and continue to protect the public," states the release, which specifically addresses large gatherings and densely-packed public spaces.
"We continue to work with our public health partners across all ministries to ensure that the appropriate plans are in place to respond to any scenario."
To that effect, Dr. Williams recommended a ban on public gatherings of more than 250 people in Ontario this morning.
A ban is not currently in effect, but public health officials are advising anyone with even mild respiratory symptoms to stay at home in an effort to curb the spread of this potentially-deadly virus.
"Cover your mouth & nose with your elbow if you cough or sneeze.— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) March 13, 2020
Stay home if you’re sick.
Avoid unnecessary travel & large social gatherings.
Comply with the advice of your local / national health authority.
Find & share reliable information"-@DrTedros #COVID19 #coronavirus
The outbreak, which was officially declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday, had resulted in the deaths of 4,995 people globally as of March 13.
Some 132,758 cases have now been reported around the world, more than a third of them (51,767) outside of China, where the outbreak originated in late December.
A total of 152 cases of COVID-19 are currently registered in Canada, with one death reported in an elderly B.C. man.
"At this time, the Public Health Agency of Canada has assessed the public health risk associated with COVID-19 as low for the general population in Canada but this could change rapidly," reads the federal government's coronavirus resource web portal.
"We will continue to adapt our risk assessment based on the latest data available."
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