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Ninety coronavirus test kits on island

A total of 90 coronavirus test kits are now on the island and more are expected by the end of the week, the Premier's Office said last night.

A spokeswoman said the testing equipment already here — which can give a result in as little as 24 hours — would be in use “hopefully by the end of the week”.

The news came as more than 270 people were monitoring themselves for symptoms of Covid-19 yesterday.

The government website showed that although 18 people have been tested for the virus, there were no confirmed cases.

Eight tests returned negative results with ten pending when an update was published yesterday at 1pm.

The website said 272 people were “self-monitoring with public-health supervision”.

The site added: “Persons with a relevant travel history or contact that is not considered high-risk are to undergo self-monitoring with public-health supervision.

“Health personnel are in communication with these persons over the course of the self-monitoring period having provided a plan for self-monitoring for symptoms with clear instructions for notifying a healthcare provider before the person seeks healthcare if they develop fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.

“This public health measure is for persons arriving prior to the required self-quarantine of all arriving passengers enacted March 17, 2020.”

The government website showed that 16 people were in quarantine with active monitoring — for those who had a high-risk travel history or contact and were “quarantined for 14 days after potential exposure”.

It said: “This quarantine can occur in their home or place of accommodation.

“Health personnel are in communication with these persons at least once a day to assess for the presence of fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.

“The mode of communication can be face-to-face, a telephone call, an e-mail or other electronic method.”

Another 14 people were in self-quarantine with public-health supervision, a category designed for people who arrived on the island from yesterday.

The website explained: “Health personnel are in communication with these persons over the course of the self-quarantine period having provided a plan for self-monitoring for symptoms and clear instructions for notifying a healthcare provider before the person seeks healthcare if they develop fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.”

Commissioner of Police Stephen Corbishley earlier said that the service was to introduce precautionary measures because of the global pandemic.

He explained: “This is to ensure that we continue to provide a high standard of service to the community while, at the same time, ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all BPS staff.”

Mr Corbishley highlighted that the 911 number should still be used for emergencies.

He said the public should not visit police stations to make a report “unless the matter is of a serious nature” and should call the main police number 295-0011 instead.

Mr Corbishley told the public: “Hand-sanitiser stations will be available at the entrances of all police stations. We ask that you use them upon entering.

“We will regularly disinfect doors and countertops at police stations to help avoid contamination.

“If the situation warrants that an officer comes to your residence, we urge you to inform the officer you speak with on the phone whether any occupant has been diagnosed as having Covid-19, any occupant has recently returned from overseas travel, or any occupant has displayed symptoms of cold or flu.

“Officers responding to calls, will, in the interest of public and personal safety, maintain a safe social distance during questioning or recording of information. This is for the good of both you and the officer.”

He added: “Your Bermuda Police Service stands ready to assist in these uncertain times and will maintain the highest standards of policing that you have come to expect from us. We urge you to do your part in helping us to do so, by please following these guidelines.”

The Department of Public Transportation said that bus services would be interrupted between 10.30am and 1pm today for staff meetings to “address concerns, update, and provide information on matters relating to Covid-19”.

A government spokesman said: “The ultimate goal is to ensure all staff are prepared and able to confidently serve the public in any eventuality.

“The DPT apologise in advance for any inconvenience to the travelling public.”

Precautionary measures: Stephen Corbishley, the police commissioner, explained how the force was preparing (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published March 18, 2020 at 9:00 am (Updated March 18, 2020 at 11:04 am)

Ninety coronavirus test kits on island

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