B.C. health officials say they are in support of Canada banning passenger flights from India and Pakistan for 30 days amid concerns over rising COVID-19 cases and a new virus mutation.
Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, said Wednesday 40 cases B.C. confirmed 39 cases of the variant, called B.1.617.
It is being treated as a variant of interest and is being described as a “double mutant” due to a pair of mutations that the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare says may confer “immune escape and increased infectivity.”
In the last two weeks, more than 100 international flights landing in Canada have carried at least one positive COVID-19 case on board, according to the federal government.
At least 32 of those flights were from India.
It is a very difficult time right now in India,” B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said Thursday. “And our heart goes out to that country and the families here who have family members and friends and relatives who are going through what is happening in India right now.”
It’s a tragedy globally that we are seeing and India is bearing the brunt of it right now.”
Dix said they are supportive of the federal government’s move to stop flights from India and Pakistan for 30 days.
“We’re struggling with our own third-wave across this country right now. And so anything that we can do that stops further introductions into the country is really, really important.”
On Thursday, India reported 314,835 new cases of the coronavirus in only 24 hours, the highest daily increase anywhere in the world.
Hospitals across northern and western India have issued notices to its citizens that they only have a few hours of medical oxygen required to keep COVID patients alive.
More than two-thirds of hospitals had no vacant beds, according to the Delhi government’s online data base and doctors advised patients to stay at home.