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Covid-19 testing set to start on island

On-island processing of tests for the potentially lethal coronavirus will start this week, the national security minister said yesterday.

Wayne Caines said: “I do not know the exact time.

“I can tell you that we will have the ability within the not-too-distant future to commence testing on island.”

Mr Caines added that he could not provide an up-to-date count on how many Covid-19 test kits had arrived.

He said: “I can say that more tests have arrived on island.

“We can confirm and have for you at our next briefing how many the actual number of tests that have indeed arrived.”

The Government said earlier this week that there were 90 test kits for the virus in Bermuda.

The news came after David Burt, the Premier, announced on Wednesday that two residents had tested positive for the virus.

He said that one had arrived on March 4 on American Airlines flight 308 from Miami and the other on a British Airways flight from London Gatwick on March 6.

Mr Caines said that he could not provide specifics on when the two had been tested, or when the tests had been sent overseas for analysis, but that the results had arrived on Wednesday.

Mr Caines added that health ministry workers had “their feet to the proverbial fire” as they responded to the crisis.

He said: “What we have advised them to do is focus on planning, to focus on everything that we have going on.

“When it is the appropriate time, we will be able to sit down and give a clear briefing of the specifics of this particular matter.

“As you can imagine, we have limited resources. We want to make sure that the personnel are focused on going forward, protecting this country, protecting this community.

“We felt that the best uses of resources, at this moment, was to have them to focus on the task at hand.”

Wayne Caines, the national security minister (File photograph)

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Published March 20, 2020 at 9:00 am (Updated March 20, 2020 at 9:11 am)

Covid-19 testing set to start on island

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