Lockdown could be extended

  • Press conference

  • Sad news: David Burt, the Premier listens to a question after announcing a fifth death related to Covid-19 (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

    Sad news: David Burt, the Premier listens to a question after announcing a fifth death related to Covid-19 (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

  • Graphic by Christina White

    Graphic by Christina White

  • Graphic by Christina White

    Graphic by Christina White

  • File photograph by Blaire Simmons

    File photograph by Blaire Simmons

A decision to extend the Covid-19 shelter in place regulations could be announced today, the Premier signalled last night.

David Burt said that Cabinet discussions today could include an extension of the lockdown, due to end on Saturday.

He added that the island had obtained a supply of an anti-malaria drug, used in some countries, to treat the coronavirus.

Cheryl Peek-Ball, the Chief Medical Officer, said there were “some indications” that the drug, hydroxychloroquine, may be of some use against Covid-19.

Dr Peek-Ball explained a supply of the drug had been “procured early”, along with antiretroviral drugs, usually used to treat HIV+ infection.

However, she emphasised that the drugs had not been proven to be effective against Covid-19.

Wayne Caines, the national security minister, said that more than 18,000 traffic stops had been carried out over the Easter weekend to enforce restrictions on movement designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Mr Caines added police made 32 arrests for breaches of the shelter-in-place regulations last week. He said: “Twenty-one of these were curfew-related and 11 were for non-essential movement. There were also 111 warnings issued for breaches to the guidelines.”

Mr Caines added the Royal Bermuda Regiment’s coastguard had also stopped and warned swimmers and kayakers over the weekend.

He said there were now 215 people now housed in five different government quarantine facilities for the mandatory 14-day period.

Lovitta Foggo, the Minister of Labour, Community Affairs and Sport, added more than $3.4 million had been paid out to more than 3,800 people who needed financial help after they were laid off work because of the pandemic.

Ms Foggo said: “By Friday, we estimate a further 1,197 applicants will have been paid, for an additional cost of $966,000 — bringing the total applicants paid to 5,008.”

The benefit is being given out in two-week instalments, which will continue for up to 12 weeks or until recipients return to work.

Ms Foggo said staff from other areas of government had been drafted to help process applications.

She added: “We are here to assist and to ensure that no one falls through the cracks.”

Applications for the emergency payouts can be made online at the Bermuda Job Board or at www.gov.bm.

Ms Foggo highlighted six phone numbers for people who needed help with applications to get assistance.

The numbers were: 297-7714, 297-7716, 707-5439, 707-5438, 707-5440 and 707-5442. The 707 numbers can also be contacted through WhatsApp.

To read full statements from the health minister and labour minister, click on the PDF links under “Related Media”

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Published Apr 14, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated Apr 14, 2020 at 7:47 pm)

Lockdown could be extended

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