Seven more COVID-19 cases reported in B.C. on same day World Health Organization declares a pandemic

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      The novel coronavirus continues to take a toll in British Columbia.

      Today, Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry disclosed that seven more cases have been confirmed.

      They include two health-care workers at the Lynn Valley Care Centre, where an elderly man died of the disease earlier in the week.

      One of the new cases is a male in the Vancouver Coastal health region and the other is a female in the Fraser Health region.

      The man is in his 20s and the woman is in her 50s, and they're both at home.

      Today also marked the first time anyone has been diagnosed with COVID-19 on Vancouver Island. He's a man in his 60s.

      He's one of three new cases involving people who've travelled to Egypt.

      The other two were "community cases", according to Dix and Henry. One is a man in his 60s and the other is a woman in her 60s. Both live in the Fraser health region.

      The provincial total now stands at 46.

      "Today, we are asking British Columbians to take additional care of seniors and people with compromised immune systems," Dix and Henry said in a joint statement. "Do not visit them if you are sick. If they are living at home and are sick, consider how you may support them with food and other necessities.

      "If you need to visit a long-term care home or other health-care facility, go one person at a time and limit your visit to the person you know."

      Meanwhile, there are 330 cases of COVID-19 in nearby Washington state.

      The World Health Organization declared today that COVID-19 is a pandemic, with more than 118,000 cases worldwide and more than 4,000 deaths.

      It's on every continent except Antarctica.

      A pandemic is declared when there's worldwide transmission of a disease.

      "We have never before seen a pandemic sparked by a coronavirus," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. "And we have never before seen a pandemic that can be controlled at the same time."

      India is one country that's taken exceptionally strong measures to counter the spread of COVID-19. 

      It's suspended all existing travel visas until April 15, apart from those issued to diplomatic officals, staff with UN and international organizations, and those who are visiting for employments or projects. Indian nationals have been warned that they could face a 14-day quarantine  upon their return from a foreign country.

      Video: Watch Donald Trump's address from the Oval Office.


      U.S. president Donald Trump has suspended travel from Europe to the United States for 30 days.

      The rules will go into effect at midnight on March 13, and will not apply to the United Kingdom. Americans who undergo screenings will be given exemptions.

      "We are marshalling all federal resources," Trump said in a televised address. "This is the biggest response to a global virus."