Premier: Don’t give up the battle against Covid-19
The Government tonight appealed to the public to fight “pandemic fatigue” after three new cases were logged.
Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health, said the three new coronavirus cases were among 1,692 test results received between Sunday and yesterday.
She added two of the cases came in on the October 14 British Airways flight from London and the other arrived on the Delta flight from Atlanta the same day.
The patients were all visitors and tested positive on their day four test.
None had displayed any symptoms.
The news meant the island has now has recorded 188 confirmed cases of Covid-19.
David Burt, the Premier, said the new cases highlighted the need for continued precautions.
Mr Burt added: “There is no question that there is pandemic fatigue in Bermuda.
“Businesses and persons are becoming more relaxed and some persons are wilfully ignoring the public health rules.
“The Government is walking a tightrope between the opening of our tourism economy to keep people working and the reversal of relaxations that have allowed us as a community to reap the benefits of our collective hard work.
“It really takes only one person at a crowded space or a house party where people are not wearing masks to set off an outbreak.”
There are five active cases under public health monitoring, but none are in hospital. There are no cases under investigation.
Ms Wilson said that despite the low number of cases, it was still important for the public to to wear masks.
She added: “It has been clearly proven scientifically that you can reduce the transmission and the spread of Covid drastically – I think it’s up to 75 per cent – by wearing a mask.”
Mr Burt said the Cabinet has discussed what steps would need to be taken if there was another outbreak of the illness.
He added: “One of the things we don’t want to do is to be planning that on the fly, so we are doing it and making the preparations just in case.
“It is important, as we see an increase in cases in all the countries surrounding us despite the stringent requirements we have, we must diligently plan for any eventuality and we want to make sure we have plans in place that we can activate quickly.”
Mr Burt said the Government would take note of the methods used by other countries to tackle new outbreaks of Covid-19 in a targeted way instead of a broad brush approach.
He added: added airlift to the island had increased over the past few months and 350 people had been approved to work from Bermuda as part of a scheme unveiled earlier this year.
He said: “That is potentially 350 new rents, new residents and new voices to tell Bermuda’s authentic story on their social media or to family and friends alike.”
Mr Burt added this year’s Tourism Summit had shown Bermuda could host in-person conferences in safety – which could help to rebuild the tourism economy.
He said the Fairmont Southampton hosted a job fair where 17 employers meet 120 hotel staff now looking for work as the hotel is to make its staff redundant this month as it closed for major renovations.
Mr Burt added: “It is this type of assistance that is needed in these challenging economic times.
“The Government will continue to support anyone looking for a job or anyone looking to start their own business.”
Ms Wilson also appealed to the public to factor Covid-19 safety into their Halloween plans.
She suggested low-risk activities such as pumpkin carving, in-home trick-or-treat hunts and virtual costume contests, along with medium-risk options such as “one-way” trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are left out for children.
Ms Wilson said traditional trick or treating, crowded indoor Halloween parties or haunted houses should be avoided.
She told the public: “I know Halloween is a time which many of our children look forward to and a big part of that is traditional trick-or-treating.
“But I ask you to imagine the contact tracing hurdles that would arise if just one industrious trick-or-treater was Covid-19 positive. It’s not worth the risk.”