(CMR) As the COVID-19 cases in Bermuda continue to increase, Premier David Burt has decided that the country will return to a full lockdown with only essential services being provided.
The shelter in place, which becomes effective on Tuesday, April 13, will be in place for at least seven days.
Burt, who has also tested positive for the coronavirus, made the announcement Sunday during a press conference.
All businesses except grocery stores, pharmacies, and gas stations will be closed. Limited banking services would also be allowed. Persons will access these services using a last-name system.
There were 118 new cases of the virus recorded on Sunday, with five of those cases imported, 20 classified as local transmission with known contact as associated with known cases. The additional 93 new cases are classified as under investigation.
Bermuda has 1891 total confirmed positive cases since last March; there are 877 active cases, of which 841 are under public health monitoring, and 36 are in hospital, with 6 in intensive care. The total deceased is 16.
Minister of Health Kim Wilson said the country continues to see a high number of COVID-19 cases as people choose to ignore public health measures. Speaking at a press conference on Sunday, she said:
“We continue to see a high number of positive cases and now deaths. This is avoidable. As the Minister of Health, it is extremely frustrating to know that Bermuda is in a state of community spread because some people choose to ignore public health measures such as mask-wearing and choose to hold or attend parties with large groups of people in contravention of the law.”
She said people were having symptoms of the virus but were still going about running errands and infecting others.
“I’m hearing stories of people who are unwell, leaving their homes to run errands or visit friends. Others who go to work with a cough. When these people get tested, they are found to be positive and, in turn, have already infected the people they have come in contact with. I urge everyone if you have a headache, stay at home. If you feel a muscle ache, stay at home,” Wilson stated.
The Health Minister noted that the symptoms of the UK variant seem different from the symptoms identified for the earlier strain of the coronavirus. She said symptoms of the UK variant tend to include cough, tiredness, headache, muscle ache, and sore throat, easily confused with seasonal allergies.
“If you experience any of these symptoms, please contact your doctor and make an appointment to get tested. Likewise, if you have been in contact with someone who has these symptoms, make an appointment to get tested,” Wilson warned.