Rapid spread of COVID-19 variants in B.C. remains huge concern for health officials

One of the biggest concerns for health officials in B.C. right now is the rapid spread of COVID-19 variants in the province.

On Monday, the province reported 916 new variant cases since April 1, pushing the total number past 3,500 since the start of the pandemic.

There remain 588 active cases of the variants in B.C., with 373 being identified as the B.1.1.7 strain, originally found in the U.K., and 215 identified as the P.1 strain, originally found in Brazil.

Read more:
P.1 variant is spreading in Canada. What do we know about it and vaccines?

On Monday, B.C.’s Health Minister Adrian Dix said variants could soon drive transmission but the current restrictions are tough enough.

“These are strong measures now,” Dix said. “Remember, all of these numbers really reflect events that occurred prior to the new restrictions coming into place.

“The issue isn’t the measures now, it’s (that) we all need to follow (them).”

Read more:
As COVID-19 variants spread in B.C., concern grows for effects on younger adults

Over the weekend, doctors in British Columbia spoke out about the effect new COVID-19 variants are having on younger people.

Evidence suggests the variants of concern are not only more contagious but are also leading to more severe hospitalizations — particularly for younger adults.

“With the initial COVID, the feeling was very much that while young people may get COVID, they may not get all that sick. I think the variants have changed that … and I don’t know if people are realizing that,” Dr. Gerald Da Roza, head of medicine at Royal Columbian Hospital, told Global News.

Read more:
B.C. reports 1,889 new COVID-19 cases over two days

 

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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