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Covid-19: 16 new cases, some the virulent UK variant

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Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health, reveals another spike in Covid-19 infections (File photograph)

A total of 16 new coronavirus infections were identified at the weekend - which brought the number of active cases to 68.

The news came as the Government announced tougher measures to fight a recent spike in cases – many of them the more virulent UK variant.

Kim Wilson, the health minister, said: “A year ago today, the Bermuda Government made the difficult decision to suspend services, close businesses, and impose restrictions in our efforts to reduce the spread of the coronavirus in Bermuda.

“Today, we find ourselves having to roll back our current restrictions to again reduce the spread of the highly contagious UK variant.”

Ms Wilson, speaking on Saturday, added: “So many people’s lives are now being impacted as a result of a few irresponsible people.

“This is very disappointing and again I strongly urge everyone to do their part to stop this virus from spreading.”

Ms Wilson said the island would start Phase 3 of vaccination today – where everyone aged over 16 can register for the shots.

But she emphasised priority would still be given to people aged 65 or more.

The cases were among 1,137 test results that came back to health officials.

A total of eight cases were classified as on-island transmissions with a known contact.

Five cases infections are under investigation as the victims had no recent travel history or links to a known contact.

Three cases were returned residents who arrived on the American Airlines flight from Miami on March 8.

The news increased the number of active infections to 68 – there have been no recoveries since the last update.

The active cases are being monitored by health officials and none have required hospital treatment.

The latest figures brought the total number of infections since the pandemic hit last March up to 789.

There have been 12 deaths and 709 people have recovered.

Ms Wilson appealed to people to stick to the health and safety rules, get tested and, if possible, vaccinated.

She said people could report breaches of the regulations to the police at 211.

If people cannot register for the vaccine online, they can call the special hotline on 444 2498 and choose option #2.

People aged 50 or over can also call Age Concern for assistance on 238-7525 between 2.00pm and 4.00pm, Monday to Friday.

The seven-day average of the real-time reproduction number is above one and the country status remained at “sporadic cases”.

Health officials said people should not register for the vaccine if they:

• Have had any other vaccination within the last month

• Have recently travelled. People should wait for a clear Day 14 test result before they completed the online form to register their interest

• Are receiving therapy for any medical conditions. People should consult their doctor before they register

• Are on quarantine. People can only register after the quarantine period has expired.

For more information on Covid-19, visit www.gove.bm/coronavirus.

For information on the Ministry of Health’s vaccine allocation process, and on priority groups, along with additional information on the vaccine, visit www.gov.bm/vaccines.

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Published March 20, 2021 at 6:52 pm (Updated March 21, 2021 at 7:08 pm)

Covid-19: 16 new cases, some the virulent UK variant

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