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Canada Considering Strong Actions to Combat COVID-19

Justin Trudeau will address the country on Friday, noting that Canada is considering all options to control the spread of the coronavirus.

The Prime Minister spoke with CBC Radio, noting that they at considering closing the border to some international travellers and will be recommending that Canadians do not travel internationally. Trudeau also said the government is looking at national guidelines to help control the spread.

Trudeau will speak to the country on Friday from his home where he is in self-isolation after his wife tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday. Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau apparently picked it up during a recent speech in the United Kingdom. She, and the Prime Minister, will remain quarantined at home for the next two weeks.

Meanwhile, Canadian scientists are one step closer to a potential vaccine for coronavirus. They have isolated and grown copies of the virus responsible or the COVID-19 pandemic and that will help develop treatments, vaccines and tests.

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The scientists say having access to the virus will allow them to start working on solutions before the outbreak peaks in Canada. As well, a Quebec-based pharmaceutical company has taken its first steps toward a vaccine by producing a virus-like particle of the novel coronavirus which will now undergo testing for safety.

In British Columbia, the B.C. College of Physicians and Surgeons has activated its emergency registration for the first time.

At the request of the provincial government, the college is contacting doctors who have retired in the past two years, to see if they’d be willing to come back to work if the coronavirus situation worsens.

The doctors would only be called in if needed. Medical officials fear our health care systems would become overwhelmed if a large number of coronavirus cases emerge.

Across Canada, there are now more than 140 cases of COVID-19.

B.C. has 53 cases, an increase of seven on Thursday. Ontario has seen the largest one-day increase since the outbreak began, with 17 new cases, bringing the provincial total to 59.

Alberta has 23 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, Quebec is reporting 13, while Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and New Brunswick are all reporting one diagnosis each.

Worldwide, there are now more than 130,000 victims of the coronavirus. Although South Korea, one of the countries hardest hit by the outbreak, is reporting that the number of people who have recovered has exceeded the number of new cases for the first time.


*** Story by Wendy Gray/Norman Jack/Bradley Jones ***

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