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Federal health minister says no Canadians living abroad have coronavirus

The Conservatives have called on the House of Commons health committee to reconvene urgently to address the virus’ arrival in Canada.

Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu says none of the nearly 2,800 patients around the world with the coronavirus is Canadian.

Hajdu shared this with reporters in a scrum after Question Period Monday, hours after Ontario’s government announced the country’s second presumptive positive test.

Hajdu didn’t address how many Canadians are being screened for the virus, saying the number fluctuates and changes every day. She deferred to the provincial health agencies.

“I will tell you that the provinces and territories are reporting cases that they’re monitoring immediately to their federal counterparts,” said Hajdu 

“I think all Canadians should be taking appropriate healthcare precautions that are normal and advisable.”

Conservative opposition MPs grilled the Liberal government over its handling of the virus’ arrival to Canada in Question Period.

“China has quarantined whole cities and millions of people. The World Health Organization has now listed the global threat as high,” said Conservative MP Todd Doherty.

“The safety of Canadians is currently dependent on screening in china and passengers self-reporting. When will the government institute a real plan that includes enhanced screening processes?” 

The Conservatives have called on the House of Commons health committee to reconvene urgently to address the virus’ arrival in Canada.

Major airports and border crossings across Canada have implemented several screening measures to detect the virus at entry points. Electronic kiosks and signage have been displayed to direct travellers to report symptoms to border authorities if they have travelled from the Wuhan region, where the virus originated. 

According to the National Post, 21 people are currently being monitored for the virus in Ontario. 

Globally, there are 2,744 cases of coronavirus and a total of 80 deaths. Several major population centres in China have been quarantined, putting a total of 56 million people on lockdown throughout the country. 

The virus has also spread to 10 different countries, including the United States and Canada. 

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