COVID-19: B.C. hopeful virus can be contained, but preparing for possible pandemic

Health officials in British Columbia say they’re still optimistic COVID-19 can be contained, but are preparing for the possibility that it becomes a full-blown pandemic.

“We are, of course, hoping for the best, but we are preparing for all circumstances in the province,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix.

Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said despite growing international transmission of the virus, the World Health Organization (WHO) hasn’t officially declared a pandemic.

That declaration would set off a major change in the way officials respond to the virus, from containing it to mitigating its effects, Henry said.

“They believe, and I believe as well, that we still have that window of opportunity to try and contain this, not only here in B.C. and in Canada but globally,” said Henry.

“But we are well aware that the global situation is really changing, and we’ve seen now 39 countries that have had active cases.”

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