Coronavirus: Canada's Trudeau working from home as wife is tested over 'flu-like' symptoms

A photo of Justin Trudeau and his wife, Sophie, posted to his Instagram account.
A photo of Justin Trudeau and his wife, Sophie, posted to his Instagram account.PHOTO: INSTAGRAM

OTTAWA, CANADA (AFP) - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife announced they were self-isolating on Thursday (March 12) as she undergoes tests for the new coronavirus after returning from a speaking engagement with “mild flu-like symptoms.”

Sophie Gregoire- Trudeau’s symptoms have subsided since she recently got back from Britain, but as a precaution the prime minister “will spend the day in briefings, phone calls and virtual meetings from home,” according to a statement.

Trudeau also cancelled a meeting on Thursday and Friday with Canada’s provincial and territorial leaders in Ottawa, but still planned to speak with them and world leaders by phone about measures being taken to curb the spread of the virus in Canada.

Gregoire- Trudeau’s symptoms had included “a low fever late last night.” She immediately sought medical advice and testing.

Trudeau has exhibited no symptoms, and was advised by doctors “to continue daily activities while self-monitoring.”

“However, out of an abundance of caution, the prime minister is opting to self-isolate and work from home until receiving Sophie’s results,” said his office.

Since the novel coronavirus first emerged in late December 2019, 127,070 cases have been recorded in 115 countries and territories, killing 4,687 people, according to an AFP tally compiled at 1200 GMT on Thursday based on official sources.

Canada has so far reported more than 100 cases in six provinces, and one death.

Also Thursday, the Canada’s Juno music awards cancelled its upcoming gala show, planned for Sunday evening in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

“We are devastated to cancel this national celebration of music, but at this time of global uncertainty, the health, safety and well-being of all Canadians must stand at the forefront of any decisions that impact our communities,” organisers said in a statement.

And in Quebec province, Premier Francois Legault unveiled a series of measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, including placing all travellers returning from overseas under quarantine for two weeks.

Quebec also banned indoor gatherings of more than 250 people.