Covid-19: 31 new cases as Delta variant spreads
The number of Covid-19 cases has risen to 83 after 31 new cases were recorded since last Friday – the highest number of infections since May.
The rise in cases prompted Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health, to urge the public to take precautions against the virus and to get immunised.
The Ministry of Health said 70 of the active cases were the more contagious Delta variant and two were the Alpha variant.
The strains of the remaining cases have still to be identified.
A ministry spokeswoman said 16 of the new cases came in from overseas and 14 were on-island transmissions.
The source of the remaining new case is still under investigation along with 12 earlier infections.
The ministry spokeswoman said 19 people had recovered since last Friday, but that the 31 new cases had caused the total number of cases to rise from 71 to 83 – the highest since May 20.
There were 12 new cases recorded last Saturday, the most in a single day since May 1.
There are three people in the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, one in intensive care.
The seven-day average of the island’s real-time reproduction number remained below 1, and Bermuda’s WHO country status remained at “sporadic cases”.
The spokeswoman said: “Of the imported active cases, 26 (70 per cent) are fully vaccinated, and 11 (30 per cent) are not vaccinated.
“Of the active cases, which are local transmission or under investigation, 18 (41 per cent) are fully vaccinated, and 28 (59 per cent) are not vaccinated.”
Ms Wilson appealed to the public to take precautions against the threat of the “highly transmissible” Delta variant.
She said: “It is essential everyone, vaccinated or not, actively gets back to the basics – wear a mask indoors, practice good hand hygiene and keep physically distanced from those not in your household.
“All public spaces must have hand sanitiser available for patrons and maintain accurate contact tracing records. This includes all businesses, restaurants, bars, gyms, beauty salons, and workplaces.
“This is not voluntary, this is a requirement, and enforcement action may be taken against businesses that do not comply.
“It is vital that all individuals and businesses do their part to control the spread of the Delta variant in Bermuda, and we will do that by remembering the basics.”
Ms Wilson added that travellers who submitted an incomplete travel authorisation form would be able to correct the errors.
She said that “the ‘rejection’ e-mail tells the traveller what is missing from, or needs to be corrected in, the TA form”.
Ms Wilson added: “Most importantly, that e-mail now contains a link that travellers can use to access their TA form and upload the missing or corrected information.
“Travellers are encouraged to carefully read the rejection e-mail they receive and use the link to correct their TA rather than calling the Covid-19 Hotline.”
Ms Wilson told unvaccinated members of the public to talk to their doctors about getting the jab.
She said: “The vaccine against Covid-19 is one of the single most important measures to keep our community safe, and community immunity is our best chance of ending this pandemic and returning to normality.
“Do the research, talk with your doctor and make an informed decision about getting the Covid-19 vaccine. There is a wealth of information about the vaccines online at gov.bm.”
“And as always, avoid the three ‘Cs’: closed spaces, crowded places and close contact settings.”
The new overseas cases were linked to several flights to the island.
· Two non-residents who arrived on United Airlines on August 8 tested positive on arrival.
· One non-resident who arrived on Delta from Atlanta on August 8 tested positive on arrival.
· Three residents who arrived on United Airlines flight 1985 from Newark on August 7 and tested positive on their arrival test.
· One resident who arrived on American Airlines from Charlotte on August 7 tested positive on arrival.
· One resident who arrived on Air Canada from Toronto on August 7 tested positive on arrival.
· One non-resident who arrived on British Airways from London on August 5 tested positive on arrival.
· One non-resident who arrived on Jet Blue from Boston on August 5 tested positive on the outbound test.
· One resident who arrived on American Airlines from Charlotte on August 4 tested positive on the Day 4 test.
· One resident who arrived on Jet Blue from Boston on August 4 tested positive on the Day 4 test.
· One resident who arrived on British Airways from London on August 3 tested positive on the Day 4 test.
· One resident who arrived on Jet Blue from Boston on August 2 tested positive on the Day 4 test.
· One non-resident who arrived on American Airlines from Charlotte on August 2 tested positive on the Day 4 test.
· One resident who arrived on British Airways from London on July 29 tested positive on the Day 8 test.
Since March 2020, Bermuda has recorded 2,645 coronavirus cases since last March.
There have been 33 deaths and 2,529 people have recovered.