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Active Covid-19 cases rise to 92 as clusters ‘cause concern’

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Five clusters of Covid-19 outbreaks around the island have been confirmed, the health minister has revealed, calling them “concerning”.

Kim Wilson said the largest cluster numbered about 25 people, adding that it appeared to have come from breaches of health restriction protocols.

Ten people accounted for another cluster, while another was nine, but Ms Wilson said “more details will be revealed” in upcoming court proceedings.

She said a compliance officer, a former police officer, had been hired by the Ministry of Health to put together a file over the breaches.

Ms Wilson said the island now had 92 active cases of the illness, with 89 under public health monitoring.

Of the 92 active cases, 81 are from the more contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus. Three people are in hospital, with one in intensive care.

But David Burt, the Premier, said: “The coronavirus may be with us for a while, and we’re going to have to learn how to deal with the coronavirus being with us a while.”

So far, 64.4 per cent of the island’s population has been fully vaccinated.

Ms Wilson said the majority of cases of infection were coming from unvaccinated people or from residents getting infected when travelling overseas.

She said that overall, 54 per cent of active cases were in unvaccinated people, but 46 per cent were found among the fully immunised.

In the 58 locally transmitted cases, fully vaccinated people accounted for a mere 33 per cent, while 69 per cent had hit people who had not taken the jab against the virus.

Ms Wilson said: “For local transmission, it’s not surprising that the majority of persons testing positive are not vaccinated.”

She said getting inoculated remained the island’s best protection as cases worldwide continue to run rampant.

Speaking at the latest press conference tonight on Covid-19, Ms Wilson said there had been 18 new positive cases from 4,927 test results since the last update earlier this week.

Two were from overseas: a traveller from an August 5 flight from Boston who tested positive on day four, and another from Charlotte, North Carolina this Tuesday who was found positive for the virus on their arrival test.

Twelve cases are local transmission with known contacts.

Four are under investigation, occurring in residents with no known links or recent travel history – bringing the total cases being investigated to 11.

She revealed that the Government plans to start accepting the Chinese-produced Sinopharm vaccine as valid for travellers, although there is no plan to use it in the local inoculation programme.

Bermuda has had 2,663 total cases during the pandemic and 33 deaths.

The press conference was the final of its kind to be held with Mr Burt and Ms Wilson.

The Premier said future updates on the pandemic will come from the Government’s technical officers.