Virus claims first two lives

  • Covid: Monday press conference

  • Sad news: David Burt addresses the nation at yesterday’s press conference (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

    Sad news: David Burt addresses the nation at yesterday’s press conference (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

  • Graphic by Christina White

    Graphic by Christina White

Bermuda has suffered its first two deaths from Covid-19, it was revealed last night.

David Burt, the Premier, said he was “extremely sad” to break the news to the country.

He added: “All the days have been tough. The day I had today was not as tough as it was for families who are grieving.”

Mr Burt sent his condolences to the families of people who had lost their lives.

He added: “I sincerely hope all Bermudians will pray for their families and recognise that if we do not follow our instructions, if we do not observe the guidelines which have been laid out, there will be more people who, sadly, will succumb to this illness.

“It is important for us do our part so we can keep that number as low as possible.”

Mr Burt said the first of the two fatalities, a middle-aged man, died over the weekend.

He added that the man had shared a house with someone earlier identified as positive for Covid-19.

Mr Burt said: “Consequently, a test was ordered on the deceased immediately and today the test was found positive.

“It appears this individual was not in good health generally, so at this time it is not possible to ascertain the exact cause of death.”

Mr Burt said the cause of death would be investigated by the coroner.

The second fatality was a senior who was one of the cases identified on April 4 and was being treated in the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital.

Mr Burt said the patient was stable on Sunday, but died on Monday.

He said the island also got back two more positive test results yesterday, which brought the total number of confirmed cases to 39.

Mr Burt said 17 people had recovered and six were stable in hospital — including one of the new confirmed cases. None of the six hospital patients were on ventilators.

A total of four of the identified cases are still under investigation because their contact tracing has not been completed.

Craig Cannonier, the Opposition leader, said last night: “This is the news that I and the whole of Bermuda have been dreading.

“I am deeply shocked and saddened. My heart goes out to the families and I would reiterate the Premier’s plea to respect their privacy in this terribly difficult time.”

Mr Cannonier pleaded with the public: “Bermuda, follow the guidelines. Stay off the roads. Wash your hands. Practise safe-distancing. We have to beat this.”

Wayne Caines, the national security minister, said the public should reduce their movements as much as possible.

He highlighted there were still people who were “not taking this seriously” and leaving their homes.

There were 52 people under self-quarantine with public health supervision last night.

However, the numbers will rise after the arrival yesterday of a British Airways charter flight to bring residents home from the UK.

Mr Burt said that the island would be “significantly ramping up” its testing for the virus.

He said: “We aim to be testing frontline workers such as healthcare workers, persons who are working in our nursing homes and persons who may have been exposed to confirmed cases.”

Kim Wilson, the health minister, said “every single avenue is being explored” to get more test kits, but that worldwide shortages had included “challenges” in getting test kits from the United States.

Mr Burt reminded the public that a WhatsApp account for updates was available at 504-6045 and that 2,600 people had already signed up.

The Premier said the service had proved useful yesterday as rumours had circulated about flights coming in.

Mr Burt added that more than $400,000 had been donated to an emergency fund by about 50 companies.

He said that Government had opened the door to allow essential businesses such as grocery stores to open on Good Friday, a traditional holiday.

Mr Burt added that it would be up to the stores to decide if they would operate.

He said that a repatriation flight from Fort Lauderdale, Florida was expected to arrive today.

But he warned friends and family of the passengers not to meet them at the airport.

Mr Burt said anyone who ignored the rules would be “in violation of the shelter-in- place order and may be detained by the Bermuda Police Service” and added that all the returnees would undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

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Published Apr 7, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated Apr 7, 2020 at 7:59 am)

Virus claims first two lives

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