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Burt confirms sixth Covid-19 death

Graphic by Christina White

Bermuda has recorded its sixth Covid-19 related death, the Premier confirmed this evening.The victim was understood to be a resident at the Westmeath Residential and Nursing Home, where 11 residents and two staff members have previously been confirmed as Covid-19 cases.David Burt said: “Firstly, the confirmation of the passing of another individual today is incredibly sad news and our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this difficult time.”Mr Burt conceded that lessons had been learnt from the approach to testing at the Pembroke home.He said: “I have been the strongest advocate for testing as it would better position the Government to not only be able to protect the health and safety of Bermuda but to also make informed policy decisions about how we operate in this radically changed environment.“This Government’s policy has been clear and undiluted: any affected rest home, their residents and staff should be tested and in the case of Westmeath our aim was to ensure that testing occur as swiftly as possible.“My directive on that point was equally as clear but regrettably that did not occur.“The Ministry of Health has performed a tremendous service to our country but in this scenario we all recognise that there have been lessons learned. I am satisfied that the testing regime and criteria is now reflective of the nature of this pandemic.”The Premier issued his statement after the TNN news website reported the death this evening.TNN ran an excerpt from a letter to the families of the care home’s residents which said: “It is with deep regret that I inform you that we have lost one of our beloved resident today related to Covid-19 complications.“We have shared our condolences with the family. We have no words at this time and will aim to communicate with you tomorrow.”Mr Burt also said Bermuda now has the testing capacity and supplies it needs.He added: “In fact 373 tests were performed this weekend at our new drive through facility.“This dramatic increase in testing has enabled us to provide many of our essential workers with the reassurance that they have not contracted Covid-19.“There is no denying the importance of testing and this Government will spare no effort to address this threat to our community with a rigorous approach to testing and the invaluable knowledge it brings.”