Premier David Burt opened the latest news briefing on Thursday with a direct message “to the families who have lost loved ones in recent weeks to COVID-19 and to those who have contracted the virus and are fighting to overcome it”.
To date, the spread of the deadly coronavirus in Bermuda has claimed five lives, one who was laid to rest on Thursday.
Mourners will know that funerals have been limited to ten people to attend during the Shelter in Place order.
Speaking at the latest news briefing held by the Government yesterday, Mr Burt said: “The thoughts and prayers of our island are with you as you grieve for your loved one.
“As a Government we will continue to work hard to manage the spread and reduce the impact of this disease. For those who have contracted and are battling the virus we send you well wishes for a full and speedy recovery.
“Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government has listened to our medical experts, taken lessons from countries that have been successful in flattening the curve, and work swiftly to protect the people who have become challenged economically,” he added.
“We have listened to, and when necessary adapted to changing circumstances, implemented recommendations from those of all walks of life that truly and deeply care about Bermuda.
“In other countries they do not need to declare a State of Emergency to restrict movement during a public health crisis, but in Bermuda, this is the only way to do so.
“The public health modeling that we currently have predicts that we will need to have strict social distancing for the foreseeable future.
“So the Cabinet has resolved that we must make amendments to the laws that will allow any government in the future to implement appropriate measures, in the case of a future public health emergency, such as the one we’re experiencing right now, without the need to have to declare a State of Emergency.”
On another note, he commended that joint collaboration “to fund the purchase of eight life-assisting ventilators for the Bermuda Hospitals Board”.
“Together, the companies donated more than $400,000 to fund the purchase of equipment that is critical to patient health, especially during this pandemic,” said Mr Burt.
“The joint effort led by Athene is being made possible by the additional support of several other Bermuda-based companies, including Athora Holding Ltd., Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd, and Catalina Holdings Ltd.
“Widespread shortages of essential medical equipment have created a challenge for the hospital,” he added.
“The Bermuda Hospitals Board identified that there was a need for these additional ventilators and this group of companies responded.