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Two people test positive for COVID-19 on arrival in Bermuda


Two people test positive for COVID-19 on arrival in Bermuda

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Hamilton – Two people who flew to Bermuda from Atlanta have tested positive for novel coronavirus (COVID-19) after undergoing mandatory checks on arrival at the L.F. Wade International Airport, the Ministry of Health said on Tuesday.

They were the first positive cases on the island since June 19.

The two cases – both Bermuda residents – were found as arrival screening was carried out on passengers from Monday’s Delta Air Lines flight, the first scheduled commercial flight from the United States since March.

“Although this is disappointing news, it is a testament to our stringent testing regime that we were able to identify these individuals early and move to quarantine all passengers with public health monitoring,” said Health Minister Kim Wilson, adding “strict quarantine is essential in this case as the risk of exposure has been identified.

“Our main priority is ensuring that cases of COVID-19 are isolated from the community and that it does not spread to our domestic population,” she said.

Tests on more than 100 passengers on a July 2 Air Canada flight from Toronto – the first scheduled flight since the airport closed on March 20 – were all negative.

British Airways, the only other airline scheduled to arrive in Bermuda this month, will start twice-weekly service on July 17. Delta’s Atlanta service is daily, while Air Canada will fly in weekly.

There were 47 passengers on Monday’s flight and all had travel authorisations. A total of 29 of them also had pre-departure tests – 19 visitors and ten residents.

All but three passengers were tested for COVID-19 upon arrival. Two passengers did not require tests as they were aged under ten and the other was a minor who will be quarantined instead of tested.

Wilson said one passenger who took a test in the US which was clear, tested positive on arrival.

Visitors and local residents face further checks on days three, seven and 14 as part of Bermuda’s strict new testing regime as the island bids to kick-start its summer tourism season and ease pressure on its battered economy.

So far, more than 12 000 tests have been carried out in Bermuda with 148 proving positive, including nine people who died – three of them at care homes for the elderly. (CMC)