(Dr. Bonnie Henry/Photo by Cormac O'Brien/Victoria Buzz)

A man in his 50s who recently returned to Canada from Iran has been diagnosed as B.C.’s latest novel coronavirus case.

In an announcement by the Ministry of Health, authorities confirmed that the man is a resident of the Fraser Valley Health region and is the province’s 9th person infected with COVID-19.

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As with the other eight individuals, the patient is in self isolation and recovering at home.

Public health authorities are reiterating the fact that the risk of spread of COVID-19 remains low in B.C. at this time. Nevertheless officials are preparing for all contingencies, including the possibility of a pandemic.

A ‘pandemic’ is defined by Merriam-Webster as ‘an outbreak of a disease that occurs over a wide geographic area and affects an exceptionally high proportion of the population’.

As of March 3rd, there are now 30 cases of novel coronavirus in Canada.

Meanwhile neighbouring Washington state announced that nine people have died of COVID-19 in the past few days. The state now has a total of 27 confirmed cases.

“We are asking all travellers returning from Iran and China to self-isolate for 14 days upon their return home to Canada,” says the Ministry of Health in a statement.

“All other travellers who are returning to, or visiting, B.C. from outside Canada should monitor themselves and their children closely for symptoms and if any arise, limit their contact with others and call 811.”

As of the time of publication, the total number of COVID-19 patients worldwide has risen to 92,849.

Nearly 3,170 people have died from the illness and 48,469 have made a fully recovery.