There remains just one individual confirmed to have contracted the COVID-19 virus in the Interior Health region, according to the provincial government.
Adrian Dix, minister of health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, spoke to the media at 3:30 p.m. on March 13 to provide an update on the virus.
During the press conference, Henry criticized a media report published by an Okanagan media outlet that stated upwards of 5,800 people could die in the Okanagan because of the virus.
“People may have been doing some blue sky, back-of-the-envelope estimations based on things like we talked about yesterday on some of the models that are based on the early phase in Wuhan for example, where there was a rapid increase in people being infected.
“But even then, once you put in measures that slow things down, drag things out, make sure that we do our best at prevention and detecting cases and clusters and preventing spread from people we know have the disease, we can affect that so that we don’t see those types of numbers.”
According to the provincial government, there are 11 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C., all within Vancouver Coastal Health, bringing the total to 64 cases across the province. One individual has died. Six are considered recovered.
This week 4,318 individuals have been tested in B.C.
Everything in their plans, explained Dix, is about trying to slow the spread of the virus.
“We can do things to stop the spread of this virus,” said Henry, adding it’s ‘inevitable’ they are going to soon see a major surge.
Those travelling outside Canada are asked to self-contain for 14 days upon returning.
Events continue to be cancelled across the province after the B.C. government announced gatherings of more than 250 people should be cancelled or postponed. Henry said the ban would upgraded to a provincial order, which will allow organizers to recoup cancellation costs through insurance policies.
On March 13, Transport Minister Marc Garneau told media no cruise ships carrying more than 500 people would be allowed to dock in Canada until at least July 1.
Parliament in Ottawa has also been suspended and the Bank of Canada has slashed interest rates to 0.75 per cent to help stimulate the economy.