Covid-19 claims eighth victim

  • Deeply saddened: Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
  • Walter Roban, the Deputy Premier standing in for David Burt last night (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
  • Graphic by Christina White
  • Graphic by Christina White
  • Graphic by Christina White

The number of lives lost to Covid-19 has risen to eight, it was revealed yesterday.

Kim Wilson, the health minister, said she was “deeply saddened” to report another fatality over the weekend.

She said that the details of the victim would not be released.

Ms Wilson said the total number of cases was now 119 after 469 test results received since Sunday identified one case of the disease.

The number of people in hospital remained at eight, with some patients discharged and 66 people now recovered from the virus, which has not shown community transmission in Bermuda.

Ms Wilson said she would “immediately” notify the public of any elevation from Bermuda’s present status of local transmission with clusters of the disease.

She added that she was “satisfied” with the level of virus testing being conducted by the Bermuda Hospitals Board on its staff. But she said that protocol would be reviewed if circumstances warranted it.

She said everyone admitted to hospital from April 1 was tested and there were “considerations right now” about extension of testing to include patients in long-term care.

Ms Wilson added that testing was completed over the weekend at all 21 of the island’s care homes, where the total cases of the virus yesterday remained at 44.

Ms Wilson said the ministry was in talks with care home management teams. She added that the “vast majority” of homes were private enterprises.

Ms Wilson said the homes were “continuously” given help and that the Government had provided personal protective equipment to homes where stocks had run low.

She added: “In some cases, we’ve provided them with nursing care where there has been a shortage.”

Ms Wilson said that results had been slower to come back in recent times as the volume of tests had “increased drastically”.

But she added that the use of electronic equipment was expected to speed up the process.

Ms Wilson also announced the launch of a pilot phone medical service for uninsured and Health Insurance Plan clients, set up with insurance firm Argus.

Wayne Caines, the national security minister, said that members of the public had shown “broad co-operation” with the phase-one regulations, a relaxation from strict shelter-in-place rules.

He added that his team was “monitoring community chatter about the possibility of planned events to commemorate Bermuda Day”.

Commissioner of Police Stephen Corbishley said that the key was “getting used to the regulations”.

Mr Corbishley said there had been “some challenges on the water”, with three parties broken up over the weekend.

The public were reminded that curfews on shore started at 10pm, but that boats must be berthed by 7pm.

Mr Caines added that the shooting of a 33-year-old man in Warwick on Friday was “absolutely the last thing we need”. He said that police had increased patrols in “key locations” after the attack.

Walter Roban, the Deputy Premier, said that a “graduation” from the first to the second of the four phases designed to introduce the island to a “new normal” would be based on several factors.

He explained that these included the number of coronavirus cases, as well as hospital and intensive care unit admissions.

Mr Roban added that compliance with the rules would help the island to move to the next stage of eased restrictions.

He said: “If we do as instructed, and I again thank the Bermuda public, we will be able to move forward.”

To view statements from the Deputy Premier and the Minister of Health in full, click on the PDF links under “Related Media”