(Dr. Bonnie Henry, Minister Adrian Dix/BC Gov Flickr)

The B.C. Ministry of Health has reported 29 new cases of novel coronavirus in the province, bringing the total number cases in B.C. to 1,203 people.

In total, 554 of these cases are in the Vancouver Coastal Region, 424 in Fraser Health, 76 on Vancouver Island, 128 in Interior Health and 21 in Northern Health region.

There are now a total of 149 people who have been hospitalized with COVID-19, 68 of whom are in critical care.

Three additional deaths have been reported today, bringing the death toll in B.C. to 38.

In good news, a total of 704 people have now recovered from novel coronavirus in B.C.

There are now COVID-19 outbreaks at 23 long term care centres on the mainland, the hardest hit of which is the Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver.

Dr. Henry clarified at an earlier briefing that the majority of these care centres have a single person, staff or resident, who was detected with this illness and authorities were able to put in outbreak measures so that others are not affected.

According to Health Minister Adrian Dix, there have been 11,276 elective, medically necessary surgeries cancelled between March 17th and April 2nd.

This has allowed health authorities to free up beds for COVID-19 patients, and Minister Dix reiterates that the people whose surgeries have been cancelled are now on a list to have their procedures completed once COVID-19 hospitalizations start to ease up.

The number of new cases in B.C. reported on Saturday are the lowest in a week, signalling that the province is well on its way to flattening the COVID-19 curve.

“Everyday that we have been bending that curve is a good thing. There are many things out of our control that can happen and this is why we’re making such a big deal about people coming into the country right now,” said Dr. Henry, referring to repatriation flights from cruise ships and countries like India that will be landing in B.C. in the coming week.

“This could take a turn for the worse in the coming week but I am heartened that we are seeing that decrease in acceleration.”

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

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 1,182,830.

Over 63,900 people have died from the illness and 244,232 have made a full recovery.

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