UK Flight To Bring Home Stranded Bermudians And Test Kits Bought From Cayman Islands

The Gleaner: Published:Saturday | April 18, 2020 | 3:30 PM
Premier David Burt

HAMILTON, Bermuda, Apr. 18, CMC – A second charter flight is scheduled to bring home Bermudians stranded in Britain next Friday, along with  cargo including 35,000 coronavirus test kits the government has purchased from the Cayman Islands.

Premier David Burt, who made the announcement, said the test kits were among the 200,000 the Cayman Islands bought from South Korea.

A special flight was able to carry 165,000 of the kits directly to George Town while the other 35,000, which Bermuda has bought, went by separate carrier to London.

Burt told the government’s daily press briefing late Friday night the government of the Cayman Islands had bought a large quantity of the kits “in order to get to the front of the line”.

“The reason they are selling them is that there is more than they need.”

“We are going to take an allotment of those, and I am in conversations with the Premier of the Cayman Islands (Alden McLaughlin) because we want to make sure that as many of our CARICOM countries who may need additional tests, that are having difficulties placing small orders, can play a part in that.”​

An oversubscribed relief flight from Heathrow had already brought 129 residents back to the island.

Rankin said next Friday’s flight would also deliver protective equipment.

“Let me join in thanking the vast majority of people on this island who understand the contingent need of the social-distancing and other shelter-in-place arrangements, which are still required at this time.

“They are a disruption to normal life. I know they’re not easy. But they help to keep us safe.”​

The total number of cases in Bermuda remain at 83. Five people have died but 35 people have recovered.

Nine people remain in hospital.