(file photo)

B.C. may be reporting fewer coronavirus cases per day than some other provinces in Canada, but as public health officials keep reiterating, now is not the time to let our guards down.

During their daily briefing on Tuesday, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and health minister Adrian Dix said it is uncertain when physical distancing and other measures to curb COVID-19 transmission will be lifted in the province.

“We are going to be in some form of having to monitor and prevent transmission of this virus until we have a vaccine, or until enough of population is immune to it but that would have to be a very high number,” says Dr. Henry.

Minister Dix clarified that there is “zero chance” that restrictions in place now will be lifted by the end of April 2020.

Whether there will be a reprieve in the summer months of May, June, or July remains uncertain and depends on the actions of today.

Based on observations of the situation in Hubei province China where the lockdown has just been lifted, Dr. Henry states that there is a possibility of further infection once the first wave of cases have recovered.

Authorities will be watching for a possible second wave of COVID-19 in fall 2020.

In the meantime, Dr. Henry continues to reiterate the urgent need for developing a vaccine against this virus, as well as continuing to follow provincial health orders to minimize its effects in the coming weeks.

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

As of the time of publication, there are 1,013 cases of COVID-19 in B.C. including 67 on Vancouver Island.

In good news, a total of 507 people have now recovered from novel coronavirus in B.C. This represents an approximate 50% recovery rate.

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.

The Province has also created the 1-888-COVID-19  line to connect British Columbians needing non-medical information about the coronavirus pandemic.

As of the time of publication, the total number of COVID-19 patients worldwide has risen to 855,139.

Over 42,000 people have died from the illness and 176,908 have made a full recovery.


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