Governor: UK will supply Bermuda with Covid-19 vaccine when it’s available
Bermuda will be supplied with a Covid-19 vaccine through its links with Britain once one becomes available, the Governor promised today.
John Rankin, who steps down from the post at the end of November, told Hamilton Rotary Club: “I am pleased to inform you that the UK Government has agreed to supply the Overseas Territories from the Covid-19 vaccines that it procures – demonstrating again the UK’s commitment to supporting the people of the Overseas Territories in difficult times.”
The pandemic was among the topics Mr Rankin covered as he looked back on his tenure as Governor, which started in December 2016.
Mr Rankin highlighted the benefits to Bermuda during the pandemic because of its links with Britain.
He said: “In addition to expert advice, the British Government has provided substantial material assistance to Bermuda through the supply of Covid-19 testing kits and personal protective equipment, in addition to helping to find the two repatriation flights which allowed Bermudians in the UK to return home.”
Mr Rankin added: “The supplies provided, numbering in tens of thousands, have included PCR tests, surgical masks, digital thermometers, swabs, gloves, aprons and laboratory consumables.”
He said the total assistance given to the island since the start of the present financial year had topped £1.33m – $1.73m.
Mr Rankin told Rotary members he was “delighted” to learn that Bermuda had been downgraded by the United States Centres for Disease Control to the “very low” Covid-19 risk category – an “excellent” result.
He thanked Lee Rizzuto, the US Consul General, as well as “colleagues at the British Embassy in Washington” who had lobbied the US State Department on the subject.
Mr Rankin also discussed his next appointment, as Governor of the British Virgin Islands.
His successor, Rena Lalgie, the director of the UK’s Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation at the Treasury, will make history as the island’s first black woman Governor.
Mr Rankin said he was having talks with Ms Lalgie “on a regular basis”, to advise her on her new responsibilities.
He added she planned to “get to know the island – not just the issues of the day, but what makes people tick”.