First Canadian coronavirus patient discharged from Toronto hospital

Published Jan. 31, 2020 10:18 a.m. ET
Updated Jan. 31, 2020 8:49 p.m. ET

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TORONTO -- A man who was diagnosed as Canada’s first coronavirus patient was discharged from a Toronto hospital Friday morning, officials said.

In a statement, Sunnybrook Hospital said that the man’s status has continued to improve throughout the week “to the point where he no longer required in-patient care.”

“Sunnybrook has liaised with Toronto Public Health, who will continue to monitor the patient in his home,” the hospital said.

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Speaking to reporters outside Sunnybrook Hospital Friday afternoon, Dr. Jerome Leis, medical director of infection prevention and control at the facility, said that staff do not anticipate the patient’s condition to worsen.

READ MORE: Should you be worried about the release of the first Canadian coronavirus patient?

“In discussion and collaboration with local public health unit, the decision was made to discharge him home to be with his wife,” Leis said. “I think we have been very cautious throughout the process and he seems to be on a clear trajectory of improvement.”

Leis said that while the patient is at home, he will be monitored by Toronto Public Health.

The man, who is in his 50s, was taken to Sunnybrook Hospital on Jan. 23, the day after he returned from travelling in Wuhan, China.

His wife also tested positive for the virus, known as 2019-nCoV, but has been recovering at home in self-isolation.

Both patients were aboard China Southern Airlines Flight CZ311 on Jan. 22, which landed at Toronto Pearson International Airport from Guangzhou. Federal health officials said last weekend that the man showed mild symptoms aboard the flight and that public health workers were in contact with those who travelled on the same plane.

Seventeen people are being investigated for possible coronavirus infection, according to Ontario health officials, down from the 27 reported a day earlier. No further positive cases have been reported.

The people being investigated are either brought to a hospital or ordered to self-isolate in their homes, officials said.

On Friday afternoon, Ontario health officials confirmed a third case of 2019-nCoV in Ontario.

The patient is a woman in her 20s who has a travel history to Wuhan. She returned to Canada on Jan. 23 and then travelled to London, Ont. in a vehicle.

Officials say she was asymptomatic on the plane and originally tested negative for the virus.

She has since recovered and remains in self-isolation.

The fourth Canadian case of 2019-nCoV was confirmed in British Columbia.

The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a global emergency on Thursday after the number of confirmed cases spiked. More than 9,500 people have been diagnosed with 2019-nCoV worldwide and at least 170 people have died in China as a result of the virus.

Experts have expressed concern after a few isolated cases of human-to-human transmission on other countries.

With files from the Canadian Press


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