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Covid-19: visitor tests positive for coronavirus

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Health minister Kim Wilson (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

A visitor has tested positive for the coronavirus on their day eight test - which brought the number of active cases on the island to 25.

The news yesterday came as a second global pharmaceutical company, Moderna, reported that an experimental Covid-19 vaccine had shown very good early results, which raised hopes a vaccine could be available before the end of the year.

The health ministry reported that the visitor and a companion arrived on the American Airlines on November 5. The companion tested positive on arrival.

The other tested negative at the airport and on the day four test.

The test was the only positive one out of 1,056 results that came back to health officials on Friday and Saturday.

Bermuda has now had 223 confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

All the active cases are being monitored by health staff and none are on hospital.

A total of 189 people have recovered and the death toll remains at 9.

The average age of confirmed cases is 54 and the age range is from 7 to 101.

The average age of the fatalities is 74 years and the age range is 57 to 9.

A total of 111 of the cases came in from overseas and 91 were on-island transmissions with a known contact.

There have been 21 on-island transmissions with an unknown contact and no cases are under investigation.

Bermuda’s country status is “sporadic cases” and the seven-day average of the real time reproduction number is less than 1.

Moderna said its vaccine appeared to be 94.5 percent effective.

Competitor Pfizer announced a week ago its vaccine looked 90 percent effective — news that puts both companies on track to seek permission for emergency use around the world inside a few weeks.

Dr Anthony Fauci, the US government’s top infectious diseases expert said the results were “truly striking”.

He added: “The vaccines that we're talking about, and vaccines to come, are really the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Kim Wilson, the health minister, said last week the UK had pledged to share some of its stock of vaccinations with its Overseas Territories when they became available.

She added the health ministry was also looking at securing vaccines from the Covax centre through the Pan-American Health Organisation.

Ms Wilson said that would mean enough doses for 25 per cent of the population at first.

She said that when a vaccine became available for the coronavirus, healthcare workers and the island’s most vulnerable would take priority.

The UK has secured 5 million doses of the Moderna vaccine and 40 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

The Covax centre has opened negotiations with Moderna and Pfizer for both vaccines, but it was not clear yesterday if it had firm agreements with either.

Moderna has said it will not enforce its patents for the duration of the Covid-19 crisis - which means generic drug manufacturers could manufacture the vaccine once it is approved.

Both vaccines require two doses to be effective and must be stored at temperatures below freezing.

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Published November 17, 2020 at 1:49 pm (Updated November 18, 2020 at 5:24 pm)

Covid-19: visitor tests positive for coronavirus

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