Bemuda had 22 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as at Sunday March 29, but is able to trace the origin of each individual case, said David Burt, Bermuda’s Premier.
Burt said it was encouraging that there is no evidence of community transmission, where a large number of cases cannot be traced to a previously identified positive case, in Bermuda.
Ten of the people confirmed to have contracted COVID-19 have now fully recovered, while two more have been hospitalised but are in stable condition and do not require the use of a ventilator. The other cases are currently isolating at home with mild symptoms.
A total of 190 tests have been conducted, with 31 results pending, as at 3pm on March 29. Officials collected 35 testing samples over the weekend of March 28-29 and are expecting the results of those tests on March 30.
The two hospitalised cases have been under investigation since March 26 and 27, respectively, with the first seeing the onset of symptoms on March 17. The patient was admitted to the hospital on March 24 and was tested on March 25, with the results received on March 26. Contact tracing started on March 27.
The second saw the onset of symptoms on March 21 and attended the emergency room and was tested on March 25. The results were received on the March 26 and the epidemiology unit started contact tracing on March 27.
There are currently 29 people who are in self- quarantine with active monitoring by the Ministry of Health, while 1,481 people are in self-quarantine with public health supervision. A further 886 people are self-monitoring with public health supervision.
Bermuda endured the first night of its curfew on March 29, which is in effect from 8pm to 6am on March 30. The Bermuda Police Service has received more than 300 applications for exemption which are currently being processed, but Burt warned many applications will be denied. “This is a preview of what is to come if the country does not adopt the strict social distancing measures which are needed to ensure that we do not have an outbreak of COVID-19 in Bermuda,” he said.
Normal cargo operations are taking place on Bermuda’s docks, ensuring the island has a steady supply of food and other supplies. Burt called on shoppers to not stockpile goods. “There is plenty for everyone and we are not expecting any type of supply disruption,” he said.
Bermuda’s airport is still open to private planes, but such planes will only be given permission to land if they make extra seats available for Bermudian students trying to return to Bermuda, said Burt.
He rejected criticism that bringing stranded Bermudian students home could increase the risk of importing new cases of COVID-19 to the country, calling it a “moral obligation” to assist people stranded away from home.
“If you are a Bermudian student overseas then the government is working to make sure that we can bring you back home,” Burt promised.
He reiterated that anyone brought in from abroad will be required to isolate in an approved quarantine facility, most likely a hotel, and will not have the option to self isolate.
COVID-19, David Burt