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Coronavirus test results pending for 26 people in Ontario: Health officials

Christian Drosten, director of the institute for virology of Berlin's Charite hospital stands next to a centrifuge after an interview with the Associated Press on his researches on the coronavirus in Berlin, Germany, on Jan. 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

No new Ontario cases of coronavirus were announced during an update on Monday morning, but Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Barbara Yaffe, said test results are pending on 26 people in the province.

“In terms of the cases in Ontario … as of 10 a.m. this morning, 108 tests have been conducted. Of them, three are positive, two in Toronto and one in London, 76 are negative,” Dr. Yaffe said. “We have three presumptive negatives and 26 which have results pending.”

“Globally as of 8 a.m this morning there have been 17,392 cases reported of the novel coronavirus of which 17,205 were in China. There have been a total of 362 deaths.”

Of the people being tested in Ontario, Dr. Yaffe said the “vast majority” came from Wuhan, China — the epicentre of the outbreak — while a small number came from other parts of China.

Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams, said all three Ontario cases are recovering at home under self-isolation.

He said data so far suggests the transmission rate of novel coronavirus appears “about the same as influenza” but noted that medical experts are still learning about the virus.

He suggested Ontarians continue to practice good habits, like frequent hand washing, sneezing and coughing into your sleeve, and getting the flu shot.

“The risk is low, the risk continues to be low,” he stressed. “And it’s not widespread throughout the Ontario community.”

Dr. Williams said the province is working with its federal partners on how to safely bring Canadians back from China, adding that anyone with symptoms would not be allowed to fly back.

“They are going to have to stay there and get assessed in Wuhan. We understand from the Chinese authorities if you have symptoms you’re not going to be allowed inside the airport, let alone get on the plane.”

He also advised the public to seek information from trusted sources.

“They need to get real advice from good sources, talk to your health care provider, talk to your public health department instead of going on rumours…”

“Be informed, be vigilant, be consistent.”