Saskatchewan has reported its first presumptive case of COVID-19.
The province’s chief medical health officer, Dr. Saqib Shahab, said in a news release that the person recently travelled to Egypt.
“The province’s first case is linked to travel from a country where local transmission of COVID-19 has been reported,” he said in the statement.
Shahab said the person was experiencing symptoms and underwent testing in Saskatoon earlier this week and a positive result came back Thursday.
The person, who is in their 60s, has been self-isolating at home.
“This supports the expanded testing criteria of symptomatic travellers to better prepare Saskatchewan’s response to the COVID-19 event,” said Shahab. “All travellers need to monitor their symptoms for two weeks upon return home.”
Saskatchewan’s first case comes as Premier Scott Moe ended speculation that he will call an early spring election, saying his government will focus on fighting COVID-19.
Moe’s office released a statement earlier Thursday saying that the province needs stable government while addressing the health and economic impacts of the outbreak.
“I will not be calling a provincial election this spring,” he said.
The 2020 provincial election is scheduled for October, but Moe has speculated for weeks about going to the polls early.
Moe has been under pressure in recent days to rule out an early election, as the number of COVID-19 cases climb in Canada.
The health ministry says the Saskatchewan case has been sent to the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg for confirmation.
Dr. Shahab is to speak to the case later today.
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