B.C.'s health authorities have reached out to several passengers and all the crew of a flight travelling from Quebec into B.C. after one passenger was diagnosed with the novel coronavirus. They warned that those seated near the patient could have been exposed to the virus. Authorities contacted passengers of the Air Canada flight potentially exposed to COVID-19 and told them to keep in touch in case they develop symptoms.
Air Canada confirmed on Saturday, February 22 that one of their passengers tested positive for the COVID-19. The passenger flew from Montreal to Vancouver, and is now in isolation.
In the days following the confirmation, the B.C. Ministry of Health reached out to the flight crew.
They also contacted every passenger seated within three rows the patient, a B.C. Ministry of Health spokesperson told Narcity.
Quebec authorities did the same.
"We contacted all of the other passengers who were sitting in close proximity to her to let them know that they were potentially exposed to the patient," the spokesperson explained. He maintained that passengers' risk of catching it was low.
Passengers were then told to keep in contact with the Ministry of Health in case they too develop symptoms.
"And we went on to let them know that the risk was still very low," the spokesperson concluded.
They said the risk of passengers contracting novel coronavirus from the patient was low because she was wearing a mask.
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However, they did not have contact with every passenger aboard the plane.
When asked, the spokesperson said they haven't yet released the total of how many people may have been exposed.
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The patient diagnosed with novel coronavirus who took the Air Canada flight was travelling from Iran, where there is a rising number of cases, according to the Ottawa Citizen.
That being said, the B.C. Centre for Disease Control maintains that there is a low risk for the virus spreading within the province.
This patient is the sixth case confirmed in B.C. There are currently 11 confirmed cases within Canada.
Narcity has reached out to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control for comment; this article will be updated once they reply.