'Rest assured': Chief medical officer responds to worldwide jump in coronavirus cases
A worker wearing protective gears sprays disinfectant against the coronavirus in front of the Daenam Hospital in Cheongdo, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 21, 2020. South Korea on Friday declared a "special management zone" around a southeastern city where a surging viral outbreak, largely linked to a church in Daegu, threatens to overwhelm the region's health system. (Lim Hwa-young/Yonhap via AP)
EDMONTON -- Alberta's chief medical officer is offering reassurances after an increase in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases around the world.
Austria and Croatia confirmed their first cases of coronavirus on Feb. 25, as Italy reported an overnight increase of 27 per cent in positive cases and the United Arab Emirates banned all flights to and from Iran over an outbreak of the virus there.
In Canada, 11 people have been diagnosed with the novel virus. None of those sick are in Alberta.
"The risk here is low. We are working with colleagues across Canada to monitor developments and determine whether changes to our public health measures are required," reiterated Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw in a statement on Tuesday.
"Rest assured we are taking all necessary steps to protect your health."
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She also asked for empathy towards Albertans who are returning from quarantines after travel.
"Any returning Albertans will undergo rigorous screening, extensive assessment and monitoring by medical professionals before being cleared to return home.
"These individuals have gone through a very stressful time, and I ask for understanding and compassion."
According to the Johns Hopkins University, there were 80,350 confirmed cases as of Tuesday morning.
The novel virus has killed an estimated 2,700, the overwhelming majority of some 2,500 in Hubei, China.
Albertans who have specific health questions are asked to call Health Link at 811.
With files from The Associated Press and CTVNews.ca