(Trudeau addresses the nation/Twitter)

In an update on Tuesday morning, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced new measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.

During his announcement, Trudeau emphasizes the necessity to wash your hands often, sneeze into your elbow, not gather in groups of more than 50 people, and practice social distancing in order to ease the burden on health care workers.

As of Wednesday, March 18th, Parks Canada will be suspending services at all national parks and historic sites in an effort to further encourage social distancing.

Trudeau also announced the creation of an emergency program that will approve loans of up to $5,000 for Canadians trying to travel home from abroad and in need of immediate assistance.

The Prime Minister also stated that he is still working on a financial support package for individuals and small businesses. An update on this will be provided on Wednesday after a full Cabinet meeting this afternoon.

There could also be changes announced for the upcoming tax season later this week, allowing more flexibility for individuals and more liquidity for businesses.

The House of Commons may also be reconvened in order to consider passing emergency measures.

“We must all work together. Each one of us can make choices that will save lives,” added Trudeau.

See all the latest updates about the global COVID-19 pandemic on Vancouver Island

According to the latest update, there are now 30 new cases of novel coronavirus in B.C., including seven on Vancouver Island, bringing the total number of cases to 103 in the province.

Six people are now in acute care in hospital, while everyone else is recovering at home in isolation, in stable condition.

Three people have died due to novel coronavirus, all of whom were residents at the Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver. This brings the COVID-19 death toll to four in B.C. and across Canada.

On Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the federal government will be denying entry to Canada to people who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents in Canada.

Designated exceptions to this rule include U.S. citizens, airline crews, diplomats, and people whose immediate families are Canadian.

Moreover international flights will now be restricted to international airports in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Calgary.

The BCCDC has set up a 2019 novel coronavirus telephone information line at 1-833-784-4397 for those who have further questions about this disease.

Anyone concerned that they may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of the novel coronavirus, should contact their primary care provider, local public health office, or call 8-1-1.

As of the time of publication, the total number of COVID-19 patients worldwide has risen to 175,769.

Nearly 6,800 people have died from the illness and 77,868 have made a full recovery.



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