Health Minister warns of stricter penalties for not self-isolating

Health Minister warns of stricter penalties for not self-isolating”

The Canadian death toll from the coronavirus outbreak jumped nearly 50% percent to 19 in less than a day, according to official figures released by the federal government on Sunday.

As the number of Canadians infected with COVID-19 climbed to 1,331 yesterday, and the death toll from the illness rose to 19, further actions were being taken to try to slow the spread of the virus and prevent health-care facilities from being overwhelmed.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also urged Canadians to practise social distancing on Sunday and said that he was working with all provinces to make sure people understood its importance. "We will use every measure in our toolbox at the federal level to ensure compliance".

The federal Health Minister says if people continue to ignore precautions of social-distancing and staying at home if you're returning to Canada and don't self-isolate for 14 days, she will invoke the Quarantine Act.

More news: Girl, 12, fighting for her life at Atlanta hospital after coronavirus diagnosis

"We applaud the steps your government and others across the country have taken to address the health emergency and provide financial support to individuals, families and businesses", reads the letter. "(This) could include monetary penalties up to, and including, criminal penalties".

Premier Stephen McNeil told a news conference that despite warnings to avoid meeting in large groups, people were flocking to provincial parks and other common areas.

"We are dealing with a deadly virus and this behaviour is unacceptable", he said.

In Ontario, gatherings of over 50 people have been outlawed, and the province has banned people from a majority of public spaces. All schools will be shut until May 1.

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