(UPDATE: Feb. 19 @ 12:23 pm): The man who became British Columbia’s first case of the new coronavirus has fully recovered and health officials say he longer needs to be in isolation.
Provincial health officer Dr Bonnie Henry says the province’s second, third and fourth cases are also symptom−free and she expects their test results will come back negative shortly.
The fifth case of COVID−19 was announced last week when a woman in her 30s returned from Shanghai, China, through Vancouver’s airport before travelling by car to her home in the Interior.
Henry says that woman still has symptoms and is in stable condition in isolation at her home.
She says the woman was wearing a mask while travelling and they have identified a small number of people who had close contact with her all of them are being followed.
Eight cases of COVID−19 have been diagnosed in Canada, most of them were people who had come from Hubei province in China, considered the epicentre for the illness.
(UPDATE: Feb. 14 @ 12:40 pm): There has been a fifth presumptive diagnosis of coronavirus in British Columbia.
Provincial Health Officer Dr Bonnie Henry said the latest case involves a woman in her 30s who lives in the BC Interior.
She had recently travelled to China, Dr Henry added.
Dr Henry said the woman had been in Shanghai before returning to BC via Vancouver International Airport.
She then drove to her home in the Interior, but the specific city was not revealed.
The woman is now self-isolating at home.
Throughout her entire flight, Dr Henry explained, the woman wore a mask.
She contacted health officials when she developed coronavirus symptoms and subsequently tested positive on Tuesday.
Dr Henry added that officials will be contacting passengers who sat three rows ahead and behind the woman on the aircraft that arrived from China but the risk to them is "very, very low."
She also said the first person to be tested for the virus in the province is recovering well and has tested negative in the first of two tests that would indicate the virus no longer exists.
She said 715 tests have been done on 500 people returning from China based on a low threshold for testing of the virus that originated in Hubei province.
The World Health Organization has named the new coronavirus COVID−19.
(Original story: Feb. 11 @ 12:15 pm): There are no new cases of coronavirus in British Columbia, the province’s minister of health and provincial health officer have said.
In a joint statement released on Tuesday, the duo also urged residents to be tolerant.
They stressed, too, that the risk to British Columbians remains low.
There are four confirmed cases of the virus in the province, with all four in a stable condition and recovering in isolation.
As of Feb. 7, the province has tested 371 people for coronavirus.
Worldwide, there have been over 40,000 confirmed cases of the virus and 1,000 deaths.
"We want to reassure people that the risk of this virus spreading within BC remains low at this time,” Minister of Health Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer Dr Bonnie Henry explained in their statement.
“We are watching the evolution of the outbreak in China closely and will notify the public if the measures we need to take in BC change.”
They added: "Now is the time for tolerance. We call on all British Columbians to come together as a community to help one another.
“In this time of uncertainty, this is not only the right response, but the necessary one. Fear obstructs the important work of our public health officials to protect the health and safety of British Columbians.”
Anyone worried they have been exposed to coronavirus is advised to call 811 or visit a local public health provider.