Wednesday 2 December, 2020

Bermuda Premier urges COVID-19 vigilance as residents return home

Bermuda Premier E. David Burt (left) and Governor John Rankin.

Bermuda Premier E. David Burt (left) and Governor John Rankin.

Bermuda Premier E. David Burt has called on Bermudians to exercise vigilance regarding COVID-19 protocols as several residents are scheduled to return home from abroad.

He made the call during his Throne Speech last week.

He noted that over the next month, overseas students will return for holidays. He said on Saturday a British Airways flight, mainly carrying college students, was scheduled to arrive from England.

"We are asking Bermudians to be extremely vigilant to ensure that quarantine rules are strictly followed. We have seen news of coronavirus spikes in many student centres in the UK. On your way home, be especially careful when travelling, carry your hand sanitiser, keep your distance, wear your masks, and limit your contact. "

Burt said in addition to the flight from England, Government anticipated several US-based students will return for the holidays, though some may not return. 

"It is important to note that during the last four months, the United States was the source of 56 per cent of our imported cases, and the United Kingdom 35 per cent."

He stressed vigilance must be the watchword as Bermuda enters this period of arriving tourists and returning residents. 

"We must ensure that travellers do not endanger our seniors and other vulnerable people. We have come too far to allow carelessness to erase or undermine our success in keeping Bermudians relatively COVID-free."

Burt said globally there has been an increase in cases of the coronavirus. 

"Locally we have seen an increase in imported cases and we are on the lookout for any possible local transmission. We do not yet have any confirmed cases of local transmission, despite extensive testing of close contacts of important cases. However, it is foolhardy to think that it will not happen."

He noted Health Minister Kim Wilson has spoken on the increase in surveillance for the virus in the community that the Government will be undertaking.

"But at the end of the day, the best protection against the virus is the community. We must continue to be vigilant."

Burt said Bermuda has had good results and consistent performance when it comes to ensuring that travellers do not lead to local transmission. 

"However, we still have to do our part. Wear masks, wash hands frequently, and be very careful when we are indoors sharing space with people who we do not live with. It is important to note that in many jurisdictions, it was not large events that drove the spread, but a series of small events."

As at Monday Bermuda had 214 total confirmed positive COVID-19 cases, 23 active cases (all imported, consisting of 10 visitors and 13 returning residents), and nine deaths. 

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