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Covid-19: another death as infections overtake recoveries

Bermuda recorded another Covid-19 fatality tonight, pushing the death toll up to 126.

The grim news came as Kim Wilson, the health minister, warned that coronavirus infections were outpacing recoveries as the number of active cases hit 271 — up from the 257 recorded on Monday.

There are six people in hospital, although none are intensive care.

Ms Wilson was asked whether living with Covid-19 meant an acceptance of continued infections and occasional deaths.

She said: “The reality is there are going to be deaths. Like it or not, we will see deaths. It will adversely affect each and every one of us.”

Ms Wilson added she was “very concerned about the increases in positive cases, especially in young people”.

She said that people aged 20 and under were “the main drivers” behind the higher number of active cases.

Ms Wilson also announced changes to health regulations, agreed this week by Cabinet, which will be effective from the end of this month.

Mask wearing will become mandatory indoors in healthcare and institutional settings as well as on public transport, including taxis and minibuses.

Ms Wilson appealed to business leaders to "do their due diligence" to make sure that their staff were protected as they returned to the workplace.

Public health regulations scheduled to end on Saturday have been extended by Cabinet until April 30 and the public health emergency has been extended 60 more days until May 29.

Ms Wilson said the Ministry of Education would update the public in “very, very short order” on any changes to restrictions in schools.

She added that coronavirus vaccinations would switch from government clinics to general practitioners and pharmacies at the end of this month.

Ms Wilson said shots of the vaccine would cost $29.95.

She highlighted that 84 per cent of coronavirus-related deaths since the vaccination programme started in January last year were in people who were not fully vaccinated.

Covid-19 figures have dropped since early January when the last wave of infections, attributed to the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, was at its height.

But the decline in infections has reversed in recent weeks and Ayo Oyinloye, the chief medical officer, said that the “numbers are going in the wrong direction”.

Dr Oyinloye said the increase in positive cases could be a continuation of the outbreak at the end of 2021.

Health officials have emphasised a theme of “living safely” with the coronavirus in recent announcements.

Health officials admitted that infections could be going undetected as most of the population had switched to at-home antigen testing from PCR tests administered at government-run clinics.

Ms Wilson said antigen tests now constituted the majority of the island’s testing for the virus.

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Published March 18, 2022 at 9:47 am (Updated March 18, 2022 at 5:21 pm)

Covid-19: another death as infections overtake recoveries

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