Canada's most populous province vows not to reopen businesses for weeks due to coronavirus

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Canada’s Ontario province on Monday said it would not be lifting restrictions any time soon, vowing to keep them in place for weeks to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford made the announcement Monday. He did not provide a specific date for when people in nonessential businesses can go back.

“I won’t set hard dates until we’re ready, because the virus travels at its own speed,” Ford said.

A man walks on rocks by Lake Ontario with the downtown core in the backdrop in Toronto, Monday, April 27, 2020. 

A man walks on rocks by Lake Ontario with the downtown core in the backdrop in Toronto, Monday, April 27, 2020.  (The Canadian Press via AP)

Ontario, with around 14.6 million people, is Canada’s most populous province and its most industrial.

As of Monday, Canada has at least 48,200 cases of COVID-19 with more than 2,700 – the majority being in Ontario and its neighboring province Quebec.

The country’s overall death toll on Monday had grown by less than 10 percent for the eighth day in a row, according to official data cited by Reuters.

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Canada, like most of its southern neighbor, has shut down nonessential businesses, throwing millions of people out of work.

Despite pressure from the business community, Ford said the country wasn't "going to be rushed into anything.”

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Also Monday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged provincial governments not to be too hasty in reopening their economies.

He warned that any semblance of normality is “something that’s a long way off for all of us.”