Trucks cross over the Ambassador Bridge to the US side of the US-Canadian border in Detroit, Michigan, USA, 18 March 2020. (EPA/STEVE FECHT)
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he expects the closure of the US-Canada border to take effect overnight on Friday and is working with domestic carriers to bring home citizens stranded overseas.
Canada, which closed its borders this week to most foreign nationals, agreed with the United States to close their shared border to "non-essential traffic" to curb transmission of the novel coronavirus.
Canada to date has 801 cases of the COVID-19 respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus, and 10 deaths.
About 55,000 people had been tested across the country so far, chief medical officer Theresa Tam said.
"What continues to concern us is the day-by-day sharp increase in cases and the reports from provinces of new cases with no links to travel," Tam told reporters.
Globally, there over 236,000 infections and more than 9700 deaths.
Canadian Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne, 49, went into self-isolation after showing "new, flu-like symptoms" and was awaiting test results.
Canada's indigenous communities, already facing poor healthcare options, are closing their own lands' borders to limit coronavirus exposure.
The Canadian government said this week it would provide $C27 billion ($A34.4 billion) in direct support to families and businesses affected by the virus.
It was also examining invoking the rarely used 1988 Emergencies Act, which would allow Ottawa to override provinces and restrict the movement of people and goods.
Trudeau said on Thursday he may utilise the military to help with procurement of supplies and urged Canadians to keep practising social distancing.
"These are difficult and extraordinary times in which Canadians are taking difficult and extraordinary measures," Trudeau told reporters outside his house, where he is in self-isolation after his wife tested positive for the coronavirus.
© RAW 2020