Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has opted to go into self-quarantine and work from home while waiting for coronavirus test results for his wife.
A statement from Trudeau's office issued Thursday says that the 48-year-old prime minister made the decision after his wife, Sophie, started showing "flu-like symptoms including a low fever" Wednesday night after returning from a speaking engagement in the United Kingdom and was subsequently tested for the virus — formally known as COVID-19.
Despite a doctor's advice to keep up his daily activities while monitoring himself for symptoms, the statement continued, Trudeau made the call to self-isolate "out of an abundance of caution."
In the meantime, Sophie is "self-isolating at home awaiting test results, and her symptoms have since subsided," the statement added.
As a result of the decision, the Canadian leader will "spend the day in briefings, phone calls, and virtual meetings from home," his office said. Trudeau will also postpone a planned in-person meeting with provincial and territorial leaders, opting instead to meet with them over the phone to discuss their responses.
"Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, we have urged Canadians to take all necessary precautions and follow medical advice in order to stay safe," the statement concluded. "This is what the Prime Minister and his family are doing."
A day before Trudeau's self-quarantine announcement, his office announced a "whole-of-government response" to the viral outbreak, which came in the form of a "COVID-19 Response Fund" to pay for things such as public health education, research and development, and extra employment insurance for people who have to miss work because of the disease.
As of Wednesday, the Canadian government was reporting that the country had a total of 103 confirmed coronavirus cases since January. Canadian officials also announced the country's first coronavirus death earlier this week, saying that the disease had taken the life of an elderly man at a long-term care facility in British Columbia.
And the country's case numbers are likely to increase. Canada's Health Minister Patty Hadju told the House of Commons on Wednesday that between 30% and 70% of the country's population could contract the virus, but that most would ultimately recover from it, according to the Globe and Mail.