Quebec reports first presumptive case of coronavirus, woman from Montreal area

MONTREAL — Quebec public health officials are reporting the province’s first presumptive case of the new coronavirus.

Health Minister Danielle McCann announced Thursday night that the patient, a woman from the Montreal region, had returned from Iran on Monday.

Officials said the woman visited a clinic with minor symptoms. The tests for coronavirus were conducted the day after her return to Canada, with positive results coming back Thursday.

“While the person was being cared for, all precautionary measures were put in place,” McCann said. “She did not require hospitalization, so she is currently in isolation, alone, at her home.”

Health officials said that apart from visiting the clinic where she was diagnosed, the woman’s contacts in Montreal were essentially limited to her immediate family, who are also in isolation. The patient did not take public transit and was not in a workplace, McCann said.

She travelled to Montreal on a flight from Doha, Qatar. Quebec health officials said they are looking for people who came into close contact with her in Montreal. They will also take necessary steps to identify passengers who were close to her on the plane.

McCann said testing by the province’s public health lab came back positive for the new coronavirus, dubbed COVID-19, but the result needs to be confirmed by the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg.

Results are expected Sunday. If confirmed, it would be the 14th confirmed case of the virus in Canada, and the first outside Ontario and British Columbia.

The minister said the health network’s response to the case shows the coronavirus protocols put in place in the province are effective.

“Today, despite this first probable case, I especially want to remind the public that all measures are being employed currently in the network to detect, take control of and limit the transmission of COVID-19 in the community,” she said. “There is no reason to be worried.”

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