Coronavirus live updates: 126 Canadians want out of Wuhan. Ottawa 'looking at all options'

The foreign affairs minister said 250 Canadians are in Wuhan and more than half have asked Global Affairs Canada to get them out

National Post Staff 3 minute read January 29, 2020

Pedestrians wear masks in downtown Toronto as more positive coronavirus patients have been confirmed. Peter J. Thompson/National Post

  • 250 Canadians registered with Global Affairs Canada to say they’re in Wuhan and 126 of them have asked for help to get home
  • B.C. has its first presumptively confirmed case of coronavirus
  • A Toronto man is first Canadian to contract the novel coronavirus and his wife is presumed to be the second
  • Health officials in Ontario are investigating 11 other people suspected, but not confirmed, to have the virus.
  • 132 people in China have died — most in and around Wuhan — from the novel coronavirus and the total number of confirmed cases has more than doubled since Monday, from 2,835 to 5,974.

Go to live updates on the coronavirus

Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said Ottawa is “looking at all options” to help Canadians quarantined in China during the outbreak of a new coronavirus.

China began drastic containment efforts to limit the spread of the virus last week, cutting plane, train and bus links to Wuhan, a city of more than 11 million people. Several other nearby cities have been quarantined since, cutting off an estimated 19 million people.

Champagne said 250 Canadians have registered with Global Affairs Canada to say they are in Wuhan and 126 of them have asked for help to get home. He said his officials are trying to contact each one of them to assess their needs.

“Every Canadian that has reached out to us for consular assistance will receive it,” he said.

He said Canada will tailor its response based on what it finds after all the Canadians asking for help have been contacted.

He noted the number of Canadians seeking help keeps changing as more and more people register via the Global Affairs Canada website — the previous day, the number of Canadians registered in the region was 167.

A third case of a new coronavirus that’s behind deaths in China has been confirmed in Canada by health officials in British Columbia, who say a man in his 40s tested presumptively positive after a business trip to the Chinese city of Wuhan.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, said the man who lives in the Vancouver area returned last week and had symptoms about 24 hours later, when he voluntarily isolated himself at his home and called a clinic.

The man is doing well at home and no members of his family have shown any symptoms as they are being monitored by health officials, Henry added.

A second test will be done at the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg and results are expected in the next two days, Henry told a news conference Tuesday.

“Given the history of travel and the contact that this person had in Wuhan city, and they were showing symptoms, we are confident that this is truly a case of this novel coronavirus,” she said.

The patient spent most of his time in the port city of Guangzhou and visited Wuhan.