Two more Covid-related deaths as minister warns cases higher than reported
Two more people have died after becoming infected with the coronavirus, the Minister of Health announced last night.
They pushed deaths on the island related to the virus up to 140 — one more than the total recorded in Bermuda as being caused by the Spanish flu, the most severe pandemic in recent history which is said to have claimed at least 50 million lives worldwide.
By comparison, about 6.3 million Covid-19 deaths have been reported to the World Health Organisation, its website said.
Kim Wilson, the health minister, highlighted that although the island has 229 active coronavirus cases officially recorded, it was thought that the number of people infected was higher owing to at-home positive results.
Five people are in hospital with Covid-19 but no one is in intensive care.
Ms Wilson said: “I am sad to report that we had two coronavirus-related deaths since our last update.
“I am sorry for these losses and extend my heartfelt condolences and prayers to the family and loved ones of the deceased.”
The ministry received 5,768 test results from Tuesday last week through to Monday and 205 were positive for the coronavirus, giving a test positivity rate of 4 per cent.
Of the new cases, 73 came from overseas, 37 were classed as local transmission and 95 were under investigation.
There have been 225 recoveries since the last figures were released on June 22.
A health ministry spokeswoman said: “Since March 2020, Bermuda has recorded 16,162 coronavirus cases, out of which 15,249 have recovered, and sadly there have been 140 coronavirus-related deaths.”
The number of deaths related to the coronavirus now exceeds the total recorded in Bermuda for Spanish flu, which was 139 out of a population of about 20,000, including 18 attributed to pneumonia and seven owing to relapses.
The first Spanish flu case diagnosed on the island was a private soldier in the East Yorkshire Regiment, which was based at Prospect, in September 1918.
The total number of coronavirus cases recorded in Bermuda is now the equivalent of about a quarter of the island’s population, although the 16,162 will include visitors and people who have been infected more than once.
Ms Wilson explained: “It is important to note that the Ministry of Health is only reporting positive coronavirus cases from the data we collect.
“So we know that the number of cases we are reporting is much lower than what is actually occurring in the community as we cannot collect data from people who are testing positive at home.
“However, we can say that our data shows an increasing number of persons entering the islands that are testing positive on arrival.
“Residents are reminded that when travelling, take precautions, follow public health guidance, and you should diligently try to avoid catching the virus.
“The pandemic is not over, and other countries are seeing more coronavirus cases.”
She said that coronavirus tests are available every day at Perot Post Office from 10am to 2pm.
Ms Wilson added: “Please continue to follow public health guidance.
“Avoid closed spaces, crowded places and close contact settings.
“Wear a mask, practise good hand hygiene, ensure proper ventilation indoors and maintain physical distance.”
A ministry spokeswoman added that residents who would like to apply for an emergency or humanitarian vaccination exception to travel to the United States should gather the information outlined on the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention’s websites.
The information must be provided “in the exact format listed” to the US Consulate in Bermuda by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The spokeswoman said: “Do not send the exception request as an attachment; it must be in the body of your e-mail.
“The request will be forwarded to the CDC for a determination.
“Travellers will be informed of the CDC’s decision via e-mail.”
* To make an appointment for a coronavirus test, visitwww.gov.bm/coronavirus-get-tested. For more information about vaccination exceptions to travel to the US, visitbm.usconsulate.gov/covid-19-information/.