Canadian PM Justin Trudeau self-isolating over coronavirus fears

Justin Trudeau

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is self-isolating over coronavirus fears, his office has announced.

Mr Trudeau’s wife, Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau, began to show mild symptoms of illness late on Wednesday after a speaking engagement in the UK.

The couple are staying home until the tests results are returned. Mr Trudeau is not exhibiting any symptoms.

There are currently approximately 103 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Canada.

Under his doctor’s advice, he is continuing daily activities while monitoring his health but “out of an abundance of caution” he is working from home, the statement said.

A number of politicians around the globe have been self-isolating in recent days after coming into possible contact with the virus, including five senior US Republicans and a Canadian cabinet minister.

But Mr Trudeau is among the first world leaders to take the precautionary step. Mongolia’s president recently returned to work following a 14-day quarantine after a visit to China in February.

The prime minister was scheduled to hold meetings over the next two days in Ottawa with provincial premiers and First Nations leaders.
Those meetings have been postponed.

Mr Trudeau will now be speaking with those provincial counterparts over the phone, with the topic focusing on Canada’s response to the pandemic, said the prime minister’s office in a statement on Thursday morning.

Mrs Gregoire-Trudeau began to show mild flu-like symptom including a low fever on late on Wednesday night after returning from London. Her symptoms have since subsided.

“The prime minister will spend the day in briefings, phone calls and virtual meetings from home including speaking with other world leaders and joining the special Covid-19 cabinet committee discussion,” his office said.

Another federal party leader, the NDP’s Jagmeet Singh, said on Thursday he was also staying at home because he was feeling unwell, though doctors have told him that his symptoms are not consistent with the coronavirus.

“Their advice is for me to limit contact with the public until I am feeling better,” he said on Twitter.