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Canadians told to respect lockdown

International 27 Mar, 2020 Follow News

The streets of Toronto are virtually deserted

Canadians in their millions can expect more restrictions after the number of coronavirus cases in the country jumped significantly.

New diagnosed cases spiked by a third on Monday alone, and notable jumps were reported in the country's largest provinces of Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia.

More than 2,000 people have tested positive in Canada and at least 25 people have died, according to John Hopkins University.

"We must slow community spread through unrelenting social distancing. A key reason we want to delay and flatten the epidemic curve is to buy time for research and innovation to occur," said Dr Theresa Tam, Canada's Chief Public Health Officer.

Ontario and Quebec have tightened business and travel restrictions and all non-essential businesses were ordered to close on Tuesday. A state of emergency was also declared in the city of Toronto, mayor John Tory announced.

Canadian officials say they have now tested more than 100,000 people and will be able to test as many as 10,000 people per day.

Over the weekend Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said it was not yet necessary for Canada to declare a national state of emergency, but he pleaded with all Canadians to stay home and avoid all non-essential visits anywhere, including to family and friends.

He said then that his decision about when or if to declare a country-wide state of emergency or a more complete lockdown would be based on science, and that emergency powers were not yet needed.

Trudeau himself has been in quarantine along with his wife and three children after his wife tested positive for coronavirus two weeks ago. He says he is still symptom-free.

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