Coronavirus
(Image / Island Health Facebook)

The B.C. Ministry of Health has confirmed Vancouver Island’s first case of COVID-19.

A 63-year-old man who recently travelled to Egypt and returned to Canada has been confirmed as Island Health Authority’s first presumptive positive COVID-19 case.

See also: World Heath Organization declares coronavirus a global pandemic

The 63-year-old man is recovering at home and in good condition, and we are confident that all appropriate Infection Prevention and Control measures were in place for his screening and contact with Island Health,” reads a letter from Island Health.

An Island Health employee, who has requested to remain anonymous, confirmed to Victoria Buzz that the patient resides in Victoria.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced on Wednesday that there are seven new cases of the virus in British Columbia bringing the total to 46.

Two of the new cases are workers at the Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver – a man in his 20s and a woman in her 50s. Both reside on the mainland and recovering in isolation.

Three of the seven cases announced today involve people who have travelled to or are visiting from Egypt, including the one on Vancouver Island.

The COVID-19 patient on the island was in the same travel group in Egypt as a man in his 70s who returned to Vancouver Coastal Health region and has also been diagnosed with the virus.

Another patient, a man in his 70s, is from Egypt visiting family members in the Fraser Health Region.

The last two cases that came to light were community cases that were detected as a result of widespread testing in B.C.

Both of them reside in Fraser Health Region – one is a woman in her 60s while the other is a man also in his 60s.

In response to Vancouver Island’s first presumptive positive case of novel coronavirus, Victoria mayor Lisa Helps issued the following statement:

“I want to assure all Victoria residents and visitors that we are taking this issue seriously and are in communication with provincial health officials regarding standards and protocols.”

“At this time, no City events or programs have been cancelled or rescheduled including Council meetings. As always, you can access many City services online. All City facilities are open as usual. However, we continue to assess public health direction as new information becomes available.”

Earlier today, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic and called for countries to:

  • scale up emergency response mechanisms,
  • communicate the risks to the public and inform them on ways to protect themselves,
  • test every possible COVID-19 case and their close contacts,
  • prepare hospitals, and
  • protect and train health workers.

As of the time of publication, the total number of COVID-19 patients worldwide has risen to 124,968.

Nearly 4,600 people have died from the illness and 67,050 have made a full recovery.

 

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