Premier David Burt

Premier David Burt tonight confirmed a third death in Bermuda as a result of COVID-19.

Speaking at a news conference this evening he said, as of 4:30pm the Government received 25 new test results and “all of the results came back negative”.

“However, it is my sad duty to inform the country that we had yet another COVID-19 related death today.

“On this occasion, it was an 80-year-old male who had been hospitalized and his source of transmission is still under investigation.

“This is tragic for any family going through this, and I ask for the community’s compassion in allowing the family time and space to grieve,” said Mr Burt.

“On behalf of the government and people of Bermuda I extend my condolences to the family and friends of the Bermudian who died earlier today (April 8) in the hospital.

“I’d also like to extend condolences of the people of Bermuda and the Government of Bermuda for Bermudians who mourn the loss of a loved one who passed away overseas from this virus.”

But he also disclosed that based on current projections of the modeling numbers that Bermuda could face up 700 deaths “if” we don’t follow the rules.

There is in some places a clear inability to appreciate the gravity of the situation.

“So let me try to put this in perspective for everyone in Bermuda,” said Premier Burt.

“Part of my briefing with the Ministry of Health today (April 8), I was able to review the modeling numbers which had been received, and it indicates very plainly and simply that if we do not follow the rules which are in place now, or the rules which will be necessary to implement in the future, the estimation is that over 700 Bermudians can die from this virus.

“This is not an error, and I am not saying this to scare anyone,” he said.

“These are the facts, and we have seen this take place across the world. They have seen their inability to flatten in the curve. In Bermuda, we have acted early.”

File Photo: Department of Communicaitons

“If we are not taking this seriously, more Bermudians will die.”

The modelling is based on formats by Public Health England and Imperial College London.

At last check, he said: “The island’s total number of confirmed cases remains at 39.”

To date, 23 people have fully recovered from COVID-19 and five patients remain in hospital.

The average age of those in hospital is 69.

More test results are expected tomorrow (April 9) and “the expectation” is that the numbers will continue to rise.

Hard on the heels of a third death, he said he was “disappointed at the number of requests for exemptions” to rules for sheltering in place under the current state of emergency scheduled to end on April 18.

“In the absence of any mitigating factors,” Health Minister Kim Wilson said the current projections led to a “surge” in infections.

That scenario, she said would “crumble our healthcare system”.

More in subsequent reports.