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Doctor’s warning of Covid-19 ‛Bermuda variant’ danger

The first Bermuda Freedom Car Rally held on May 2 (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

A doctor warned last night that unvaccinated people run the risk of becoming the “vessel in which a Bermuda variant” of Covid-19 is created.

Ramon Arscott, an expert in epidemiology and a plastic surgeon who appeared on a recent Covid-19 “mythbusters” panel about vaccines, told The Royal Gazette such a variant might mutate into a more dangerous or even vaccine-resistant strain.

Dr Arscott said unvaccinated people might end up “creating a monster” that could do untold damage.

He added: “It’s important – not just for Bermuda, but for the world.”

Dr Arscott spoke out after the Bermuda Freedom Alliance – campaigners against the Government’s coronavirus restrictions and vaccination programme – announced plans to hold a second car rally this weekend.

He warned that people who refused to get the vaccine risked spreading dangerous new variants of the coronavirus.

Dr Arscott appealed to the public to watch a video of the recent online talk on vaccination and he offered to meet the Bermuda Freedom Alliance to dispel their fears.

He said: “I understand the questions and concerns and where all the questions come from – I want people to be as informed as possible so they are not simply susceptible to whoever is the loudest voice in the room.

“Right now, people are at the mercy of the loudest voice in the room.”

He said: “If people think Bermuda’s laws are restrictive, there are now schools in the States that are now not accepting anybody if they’re not vaccinated.”

Dr Arscott highlighted that the vaccine not only protected immunised people from getting sick with Covid-19 – but that there was a deeper social responsibility involved.

He said: “The big take-home message is that the vaccine means the virus cannot multiply in your body.

“If it can’t multiply, it can’t do what viruses love to do, which is to mutate.”

The Bermuda Freedom Alliance demonstration this Sunday will take place two weeks after nearly 200 people joined a caravan of vehicles to show opposition to the Government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

The group appealed to supporters to show solidarity by wearing blue and leaving car headlights on.

A statement said: “Tell as many people as you can to show support by joining the caravan or by standing along the main roadways with your posters or flyers.”

The demonstration will form up at Dellwood Middle School field in Pembroke at 11.30am on Sunday.

The rally will set off at noon and travel to the East End before heading to Dockyard.

The demonstration will end at the old TN Tatem Middle School in Warwick.

The group, which has a Facebook page here, said the protests were organised in protest at the Government’s “vaccine discrimination policy”.

It added: “In just one year, we have witnessed an attack on our democracy and a quickened erosion of freedoms in our society due to what we consider the socially manipulated Covid-19 crisis.”

The group accused the Government of “medical apartheid on unvaccinated people who arrive on the island” – a reference to a new round of restrictions scheduled to come into force next month.

Unvaccinated travellers will have to quarantine for two weeks in a supervised centre at their own expense from June 6.

David Burt, the Premier, responded to the first rally with a statement in support of freedom of speech.

But Mr Burt added: “This is not a time for individual agendas but a time for the entire community to work together and unite to do what is necessary to move Bermuda beyond this pandemic.”

NOTE: This story has been edited to reflect that the starting point for the rally has been changed from Victor Scott Primary School to Dellwood Middle School.

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