Man Dies As COVID-19 Cases Jump To 48 In Bermuda… Cruise Ship Passengers Return

HAMILTON, Bermuda, (CMC) –  A middle-aged man has become Bermuda’s fourth death from COVID-19, while the number of confirmed cases jumped by nine to 48, Premier David Burt announced Thursday night.

Burt told the government’s daily press briefing the source of the man’s infection was under investigation.

Five of the nine new cases are being treated in hospital, 25 of the total 48 who contracted the virus have now recovered, and a further nine are recovering under public health monitoring.

There are 10 people being treated in hospital, between the ages of 58 and 75, and eight of them are stable in general wards and the other two in intensive care.

As he unveiled the latest numbers, Burt issued a fresh appeal to the public to adhere to stay-at-home rules to contain the outbreak under the island’s two-week lockdown.

He also said 20 residents from a virus-stricken cruise ship, the Bermuda-flagged Coral Princess, had returned home on Wednesday on two separate flights from Miami which were chartered by the cruise line.

The relief flights were delayed by the requirement that cruise passengers could travel only on special flights, he said.

The Miami flights followed a flight from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the previous day, with 60-odd stranded residents on board.

Earlier in the week, 129 Bermuda residents flew home on a British Airways flight from London’s Heathrow Airport that continued on to the Cayman Islands before returning to the UK via Nassau, where more British nationals were picked up. That flight was organized by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The 22 passengers whose ship was denied entry to a series of ports during its aborted tour of South America and the Caribbean said they were delighted to be home at last.

“We were all very relieved when the planes touched down. We were happy, thankful and everything else. It was a good feeling,” said tour organizer Pam Maybury said.

The Coral Princess set out from Santiago in Chile on March 5 for a 32-day cruise. It got as far as the Falkland Islands but was denied entry to other ports on the itinerary because of the pandemic, including its final destination in Fort Lauderdale, Florida at the weekend. It was later accepted in Miami.