OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is encouraging Canadians to take precautions to protect themselves and their families from the spread of the novel coronavirus, and be aware of misinformation circulating about COVID-19.
PM Trudeau called COVID-19 a “very real” challenge and said that, while the risk in Canada remains low, the federal government is monitoring the situation.
He also said that there are steps Canadians should be taking to prevent contracting the virus that has now spread to almost every continent.
As of Tuesday there are 27 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada, and 92,196 worldwide. So far, 3,129 people have died globally from this particular coronavirus. There have been no deaths to date in Canada, but in recent days the number of people sick with the virus in Ontario has risen, with 17 patients.
“It’s not that different than what people should be doing during flu season anyway: Washing your hands regularly, making sure you’re being careful about when you feel symptoms of a cold coming down, being there to support your families, coughing into your elbows, maybe taking a little more care around travel,” Trudeau said, directing people to keep up with the latest, most accurate information on the Health Canada website, referencing the amount of “misinformation” circulating about COVID-19.
From scammers attempting to profit off of paranoia by posing as health officials in online scams, to misleading and inaccurate claims about causes and cures to coronavirus, the spread of false information has been proliferating online for weeks.
Trudeau faced questions about the provinces’ readiness to respond to the potential of an influx of cases and he said that he is confident they’ll be able to provide the health services needed and will “of course look to ensure that there are the resources necessary to keep Canadians safe.”
The prime minister said that federal authorities are in close touch with the World Health Organization, and that the decisions being made about precautions in Canada are based on expert insight and science.
He said that while other countries have taken different approaches to the virus, he’s confident in Canada’s current plans.
“This is a moment of real challenge for Canadians and indeed for the world and we’re all going to be working together to make sure that the impacts are minimized on Canadians,” Trudeau said.
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