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Second wave of COVID-19 inevitable, but current lessons will guide response says B.C.’s top doctor Bonnie Henry.

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Published on May 21, 2020 with No Comments

‘We’ve never had a pandemic in recorded history that has not had a second wave.

British Columbia’s top doctor says that a second wave of COVID-19 caused by the novel coronavirus is inevitable in Canada, but that the lessons learned over the past few months will help inform future responses.

“The optimist in me would like to think that maybe it will go away, and the virus will mutate and won’t become worse,” said Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry in an interview with Matt Galloway, host of CBC Radio’s The current.

Henry, who was on the front lines of the country’s SARS outbreak from 2002 to 2003, has led B.C.’s response to the coronavirus outbreak. She has been praised for her response to the pandemic that successfully flattened the curve ahead of many other regions.

As the country slowly reopens, Henry said that testing will continue to be crucial, particularly when the flu returns in the fall.

“We need to be able to understand the difference between influenza and COVID, and we’ll need to have testing in place to rapidly expand our testing if needed,” she said, adding that contact tracing for diagnosed cases will also play a role.

With the potential for a second wave, Henry said B.C. is already considering what measures may return — without delivering another blow to the economy.

“What I hope we can do is create a level of safety so that we can get our economy going, our schools going, work going — but not to the level that we were in December [before the virus],” she said.

“We’ll be looking at what were the measures that worked best to prevent transmission, and if we start to see increases in COVID, those are the things that we can put in place rather than the blanket shut everything down as we did before.”


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