Bermuda could see 700 fatalities from COVID-19: Burt

09-04-2020

The COVID-19 pandemic could lead to 700 fatalities in Bermuda if people on the island do not follow shelter in place instructions and stay at home, according to David Burt, Bermuda’s Premier. 

Referring to modelling that projects the spread of COVID-19 throughout the country, Burt said: “If we do not follow the rules which are in place now or the rules which may be necessary to implement in the future, the estimation is that over 700 Bermudians can die from this virus.”

His comments come as Bermuda experiences another COVID-19 related death, taking the confirmed death toll to three. There has also been a fatality where the exact cause of death is yet to be determined by a coroner's inquest.

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Bermuda remains at 39. Of these, 23 people have fully recovered, while five remain hospitalised. There are eight active cases under public health monitoring. 

Burt said the figure of 700 fatalities is a “worst case scenario”, but stressed the figure was not intended to scare people, and is substantiated by the experiences of other countries that have not been able to flatten the curve of contagion of the virus. 

Burt said he was disappointed by the number of requests for exemptions from shelter in place rules that Bermuda has put in place. “There is, in some cases, a clear inability to appreciate the gravity of this situation,” he said. 

“Every exemption requested, every curfew broken, every quarantine defied, represents a greater risk that we will realise that number of people succumbing to this disease,” he said. 

Burt said Bermuda needs a reality check. “This is no longer something that we’re watching on the news about other countries. It is here and Bermudians have died,” he said. 

Burt addressed his comments directly to people avoiding community advisory points by traveling on foot, people continuing to visit friends and your family or meeting discreetly in a backyard, and people using neighborhood shortcuts to move around the island. Such people should stop, he said.  

Burt also noted that Travel Edge has facilitated the return of 63 Bermudians from the US, working in partnership with a number of US government agencies. The arrivals will remain for 14 days. Meanwhile, 48 Americans and other foreign nationals left Bermuda for Atlanta on the return charter.

The Bermudians who were on the Princess Cruise line will be brought back to the island on two separate charter flights and will also be required to spend 14 days in a quarantine facility.

COVID-19, David Burt

Bermuda Re