Wilson: we’re in Phase 3B but could do better

  • Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health, at the press conference yesterday (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
  • David Burt, the Premier, sports his relatively clean-shaven look that is allowed in Phase 3B (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)
  • Wayne Caines, the Minister of National Security, gives an update at the press conference yesterday (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
  • Graphic from the Bermuda Government
  • Graphic by Christina White

Bermuda marked another day with no positive results for Covid-19 yesterday

The announcement came as David Burt, the Premier, confirmed the island had moved into Phase 3B of the relaxation of restrictions to combat Covid-19.

Kim Wilson, the health minister, said that the island remained at 144 cases of Covid-19 after 123 test results came back clear.

But she added that “our collective behaviour is deteriorating” on social-distancing and the use of masks.

She said the Government’s website showed personal protective equipment in the “red zone” — down to a three-month supply.

She added the stocks, which reflected a worldwide shortage, will have to be above that threshold for the island to move from amber status to green status on its reopening indicator scoreboard.

Ms Wilson highlighted a higher number of people had reported potential symptoms of Covid-19 on the HealthIQ app, which now has 7,700 users.

The Government’s goal is for 10,000 people to sign up to HealthIQ.

Pop-up testing for Covid-19 will be on offer tomorrow from 9am to 1pm, and 3pm to 7pm, at the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity in Hamilton.

Tests will also be carried out tomorrow at stalls outside the Shelly Bay MarketPlace from 3pm to 7pm.

Ms Wilson said that the corticosteroid medication dexamethasone had shown promise overseas for the treatment of severe cases of Covid-19.

She said importation of the drug was discussed yesterday by the Government’s team of doctors and scientists.

But Ms Wilson added: “It is still being explored. It is still in the early days now.”

Gyms will also be able to open under Phase 3B, but Ms Wilson warned it was “highly likely” visits would have to be pre-booked.

Masks can be left off for high-exertion activities, with 6ft distancing — but Ms Wilson said they were still advised for low-intensity workouts.

She added that gyms should also consider closing off showers and locker rooms.

Wayne Caines, the Minister of National Security, said the Bermudian public had made good use of mobile phones to report safety breaches by businesses.

Mr Burt added the island had introduced the most stringent safety requirements of any country on reopening to commercial air travel.

He emphasised he was “not willing to sacrifice our entire tourism industry”.

Mr Burt said: “We need to approach this from a different perspective. How are we going to live with coronavirus, which will be with us for some time?”

But he added he was “confident we are going to get it right” and that “Bermuda will be a leader in this space”.

Mr Burt said Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch would issue guidelines tonight on the use of public parks and nature reserves.

He highlighted demonstrations in Bermuda in support of the worldwide Black Lives Matter movement.

He added: “Some in Bermuda needed to see the outpouring of anger over the murder of George Floyd.”

Mr Burt said his office was in agreement with the racial justice objectives of the group Citizens Uprooting Racism in Bermuda.

He added Kathy Lynn Simmons, the Attorney-General and Minister of Legal Affairs, was carrying out a review of legislation against the “disparate treatment of workers”.

Mr Burt said the Progressive Labour Party’s expansion of Bermuda College scholarships, and the racial justice forum under Lovitta Foggo, the community and sport minister, was proof of a commitment to social justice.

He added the Government had levelled the playing field to make public procurement fairer.

Mr Burt said: “Everyone in Bermuda knows the statistics regarding incarceration in Bermuda.

“Much work remains to address this continued imbalance.”

Mr Burt added a commission led by Michael Scott, a government backbencher, awaited the Governor’s approval to start an investigation into reforms.

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