Canada’s Bloc Quebecois leader tests positive for COVID-19

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Makeshift Hospital
Photo taken on Aug. 1, 2020 shows the interior of a makeshift hospital for COVID-19 patients at the AsiaWorld-Expo, a venue near the Hong Kong International Airport, in south China's Hong Kong. (Xinhua/Wu Xiaochu)

Canada’s Bloc Quebecois leader Yves-Francois Blanchet has been diagnosed with COVID-19, the party said Friday.

Blanchet is the first Canadian political party leader to test positive for COVID-19.

“He will remain in isolation at his residence in Shawinigan until September 26 in accordance with instructions from the Quebec Public Health Department,” said the party in a statement.

The news came just days after Blanchet’s wife announced self-isolation after testing positive for COVID-19.

The entire Bloc Quebecois caucus, including Blanchet, has been self-isolating since a staff member tested positive Monday.

Bloc Quebecois is a federal political party in Canada devoted to Quebec nationalism and the promotion of Quebec sovereignty. In the 2019 federal election, the party won 32 seats of the House of Commons of Canada, regaining official party status as a result.

The number of COVID-19 cases in Canada rose to 140,539 on Thursday, with 9,199 deaths. An average of 779 new cases had been reported daily during the past seven days, the Public Health Agency of Canada announced on Thursday.

The daily case counts have increased over the past weeks, including outbreaks linked to private gatherings and events where public health guidelines, such as physical distancing and the wearing of masks, were not followed, said the agency.

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