Tuesday 1 December, 2020

Bermuda gov't to set up coronavirus quarantine centres

[iStock.com/sezerozger]

[iStock.com/sezerozger]

The government of Bermuda is working to set up quarantine centres, but authorities say it will take more time and money than they anticipated.

National Disaster Co-ordinator Steve Cosham said unfortunately none of the available buildings are ready-to-use.

Ten state-owned buildings, the largest of which has 20 rooms, have been identified, but according to the Disaster Co-ordinator, they too are in need of repair.

“We’ve looked at ones which are almost ready to go, but they will take budget and they will take time to get up and running,” he said.

Meanwhile Chief Medical Officer Dr Cheryl Peek-Ball said roughly 95 people who arrived on island by air, had been monitored.

She said “Approximately 29, as I recall, required active monitoring. At this time, the number is something like four or five people who are still under active monitoring. That process expires after 14 days, so people are constantly getting on the list of monitoring and constantly falling off.”

Recommendations have been made for travel restrictions to be put in place, but a final decision hasn’t been made.

Dr Peek-Ball said at present all quarantine conditions in Bermuda are self-quarantining.

She explained that “Home quarantine has been shown to be quite adequate worldwide, and quite practical, as opposed to putting people in special facilities.”

Individuals travelling to the Bermuda will be forced to undergo travel risk assessment and have their health monitored and movement on island restricted for up to 14 days.

Bermuda’s Premier, David Burt said testing kits could be on island as early as next week.

Having recognised the existential threat that the coronavirus poses to the islands tourism and financial services industries, he said the government has mobilised for a full response.

He confirmed that 400 cases of hand sanitiser are expected to arrive on island next week and supplies will be handed out at various locations.

Premier Burt said “There are some questions of shortages of particular equipment, but all of that has been communicated to Public Health England.”

The island ran short of medical face masks last month.

The Premier said incredibly stringent security measures have been implemented at all ports of entry.

To date there has been no confirmed cases of the virus in Bermuda.

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