Quebec public health confirms first case of COVID-19 in the province

Quebec public health officials confirmed the province’s first case of the new coronavirus, COVID-19, in a statement Friday evening.

Health Minister Danielle McCann had announced the first presumptive case Thursday evening, after a female patient tested positive for the virus following an analysis at the Laboratoire de santé publique du Québec.

A second test carried out at the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg also came back positive, officially confirming the diagnosis.

Health authorities say the female patient had recently returned from a trip to Iran when she began experiencing mild symptoms.

She was seen at an undisclosed clinic and is currently in isolation at home.

Officials say her condition did not warrant a hospital stay.

All protocols to limit the spread of the virus, meanwhile, have been put in place.

“The process of searching for close contacts of the infected person was carried out and the persons concerned received the appropriate recommendations,” the health ministry said.

Similar steps have also been taken with regards to her movements by plane, the release states.

Quebec’s deputy general of public health took a moment to praise the patient’s sense of civic duty.

“She quickly took the necessary preventive and hygienic measures to avoid contamination of those around her,” he said.

“I would also like to salute the work of the personnel in the care settings for how they took charge of her.”

Officials are reminding the public that the best defence against COVID-19 is good hygiene.

They recommend coughing or sneezing in your elbow, or a tissue and to quickly dispose of the tissue in the garbage.

More importantly, they recommend washing your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based disinfectant as a way to prevent most infections.

Those experiencing anxiety in connection with coronavirus are being invited to call Quebec’s Info-Social line at 811. Service is offered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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