Covid cases double in a month, another death disclosed
The number of Covid-19 cases has doubled in a month, Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health, has warned, as another death was recorded related to the virus.
Hospital admissions because of the disease increased “significantly” in May compared with April and March, she added.
Neither the number of cases nor admissions totals were disclosed.
The health minister said there had been eight Covid-19 outbreaks reported recently at long-term care facilities, schools, childcare facilities and another site.
Ms Wilson urged people to remember the lessons of the pandemic and take basic precautions to combat the spread of Coronavirus.
The minister said: “Unfortunately, there is evidence of increasing Covid-19 infections in the community.
“However, the good news is that we are better positioned to manage the outbreaks because of the high vaccination rates and a less deadly virus strain.
“I want to remind the public to continue taking precautions to avoid catching Covid-19, such as practising social distancing, good hygiene and respiratory etiquette, including washing your hands frequently, covering your mouth and nose with a bent elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing, and disposing of used tissues immediately.”
Ms Wilson said that most Covid-19 positive cases were not reported to the Ministry of Health due to the increased of self-testing.
But, the minister said that monitoring the situation via information from healthcare providers and looking at outbreaks in schools and long-term care facilities showed the number of cases reported in May doubled compared with April.
However, the number of infections was less than reported in March.
A Ministry of Health spokesman said: “There was an accompanied significant increase in hospital admissions in May compared to April and March.
“This increase appears to be continuing through these early days of June, with a few patients receiving treatment in the hospital. There have been no ICU admissions.”
A Covid-related death was recorded in May, as well as one in March, which was previously reported, increasing the overall death toll to 165.
Three of the identified outbreaks have been resolved, Ms Wilson said.
A health department spokesman said: “The others are still ongoing, with the individual sites having advised those concerned in accordance with guidance from the Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit.
“Individual sites may consider additional precautions based on their circumstances.
“Covid-19 vaccines will become available this autumn.
“However, Covid-19 antivirals and therapeutics, Paxlovid and Molnupiravir, are available in Bermuda by prescription only from a physician.”
Ayoola Oyinloye, the Chief Medical Officer, said, “Oral antivirals stop the virus that causes Covid-19 from making copies of itself in your body.
“They have been taken by millions of people and successfully treat mild-to-moderate Covid-19 in persons at high risk of becoming seriously ill.
“These pills can help people infected with Covid-19 avoid hospital admission or death.”
The health department said that Paxlovid was available to adults and children who were 12 years of age and older, weighed at least 88 pounds, at high risk for getting very sick from Covid-19 and had mild to moderate symptoms.
Molnupiravir is available for adults who are at high risk for getting very sick from Covid-19 who “do not have access to other coronavirus outpatient treatment options or other options that are inappropriate for them and who have mild to moderate symptoms”.
The Ministry of Health spokesman said: “If you suspect you have Covid-19 symptoms, take an at-home test or get tested.
“Regardless of symptoms, people who have tested positive for Covid-19 should isolate for a minimum of five days from the positive test date.
“Contacts of persons who have tested positive for Covid-19 should monitor their health for symptoms and test for a minimum of five days from the date of last exposure.
“You can contact a healthcare provider for further guidance.
“Additional precautions may be required in certain settings, including, but not limited to, schools, long-term care facilities, etc.
“Your doctor can check your eligibility for oral antivirals and prescribe them if appropriate.
“Start using oral antivirals as soon as possible after you test positive for Covid-19, no later than five days after your first symptoms appear.
“These pills are taken at home two times a day for five days.”
People have been advised to visit gov.bm/health-information for updates on Covid-19 and other conditions.