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Canada's Trudeau remains in isolation after wife recovers from virus

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Montreal (AFP)

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Sunday that he would remain in self-imposed isolation even though his wife, who had contracted the coronavirus, has recovered.

Although Sophie Gregoire Trudeau received the all-clear from her physicians on Saturday, the prime minister said, and he himself has no symptoms, he had been "sharing a roof with someone who tested positive for COVID-19."

"I have to continue in isolation in order to be sure that we’re following all the protocols and the recommendations by Health Canada," Trudeau said.

Since doctors did not know exactly when Sophie Trudeau became virus-free, the prime minister said he would observe another 14 full days of confinement.

Addressing reporters from the porch of his Rideau Cottage residence in Ottawa, Trudeau noted that workers across Canada had discovered that they can do an "awful lot of work via telephone, via video conferences -- and that's exactly what I am doing."

The prime minister has been in self-isolation since his wife tested positive for the coronavirus on March 12 following a trip to London.

She announced Saturday that her physicians had pronounced her cured, giving her a green light to return to normal life.

Justin Trudeau said his wife had taken their children to Harrington Lake, just northwest of Ottawa, the site of a summer residence and official retreat for Canadian prime ministers.

Trudeau also announced new financial measures to help vulnerable Canadians -- particularly children and the aged -- hard hit by the side-effects of the coronavirus.

Asked at the news conference whether he might call on Canada's armed forces to help enforce officially imposed travel curbs, Trudeau said he had no plans to do so for now.

Separately, Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer, called on Canadians returning to their country to strictly respect the 14 days of confinement imposed by the government.

She referred in particular to "snowbirds" -- the Canadians who pass much of the winter in Florida and other warmer locales, many of whom have recently been returning home.

As of Sunday, 6,243 Canadians had tested positive for the coronavirus, and 64 have died, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University.

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