VICTORIA — British Columbia's top doctor and health minister say the overdose crisis is as important as the COVID-19 pandemic the province has been dealing with for over a year.
Dr. Bonnie Henry and Adrian Dix said Thursday there's no vaccine to help end the deaths associated with toxic opioids that contributed to a record 1,713 fatalities in 2020.
In a joint statement, they said another 1,278 people have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began last year. Nine more deaths have been recorded in the province and 449 new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 72,305 cases.
Nearly 160,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, and 15,684 of them were second doses.
Police in several jurisdictions have issued fines totalling thousands of dollars to those allegedly hosting or attending large gatherings in violation of COVID-19 measures.
The RCMP say they recently handed out tickets amounting to more than $16,000 to people at two parties in Richmond. Tickets for $230 fines were issued to 16 guests at one gathering and to 26 people at another several hours later, while each of the two party organizers received a $2,300 ticket.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 11, 2021.
The Canadian Press