FILE – British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C, Tuesday, January 28, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

No plans to set up coronavirus quarantine site in B.C. – for now: health officials

Virus has killed more than 1,000 worldwide

The provincial health officer in B.C. said just four people in B.C. remain infected with the new coronavirus as of Tuesday morning.

“All four of them are recovering and their condition is stable,” Dr. Bonnie Henry told reporters. “All of them are in isolation.”

Anyone who has had contact with the four patients are being monitored, but have not shown signs of the virus. Overall in B.C, at least 371 people are being tested.

Dr. Henry said the four coronavirus patients must pass two tests, 24 hours apart, that show they are “no longer shedding the virus” before the are considered recovered.

Health officials do not feel the need for a coronavirus quarantine facility in B.C., Henry noted, but said contingency plans are in place.

“If transmission in the community continues in other parts of China and moves to other countries…. in those cases we would ensure we are able to stop any outbreaks that stop in British Columbia,” Henry said.

The new strain of the coronavirus, dubbed COVID-19 by the World Health Organization Tuesday morning, has infected more than 46,000 people and killed at least 1,000. Most of the cases, both infections and deaths, are in mainland China and particularly in Wuhan and the surround Huabei province where the virus originated.

The Canadian government has asked residents to not travel to Huabei province. Feds repatriated two planeloads of people from Wuhan, with the second plane landing at CFB Trenton in Ontario on Tuesday. The Canadians brought from Wuhan will be quarantined on the base for 14 days to ensure the virus does not spread.

Another group of at least eight Canadians have tested positive for the coronavirus on board a Diamond Princess cruise ship that has been quarantined off the coast of Japan. At least two of those people are from B.C., are the entire ship is set to remain under quarantine until at least Feb. 19.

READ MORE: White Rock couple on coronavirus-quarantined ship urge Canada/UK governments to step up

READ MORE: Why do people get xenophobic when diseases like coronavirus hit?


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katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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