The current threat to Bermuda residents of the new coronavirus identified in China is low, according to Government, with the Ministry of Health’s Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit [ESU] continuing to monitor developments.
A Government spokesperson said, “A new coronavirus was identified in Wuhan, China and has swiftly spread to some neighboring countries, including Thailand, South Korea and most recently, Seattle, Washington in the United States.
“The Ministry of Health’s Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit [ESU] was made aware of the occurrence of cases of the newly identified virus in China approximately three weeks ago via direct communications from World Health Organization [WHO] and International Health Regulation National Focal Point in the UK.
“The ESU continues to monitor global developments through these sources as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] in the US.
“The current threat to Bermuda residents is low. However, due to the significant travel into and out of Bermuda, the ESU considers the Threat Level to the island to be ‘Guarded.’ The situation is quite dynamic and could raise the threat to “Elevated” in a short span of time.
“It is important to note that the risk of the new coronavirus is for those travelling to affected areas. Currently, only Wuhan, China is known to have ongoing spread of the infection.
“Bermuda’s routine public health surveillance activities have been increased through the well-established collaborations between the ESU and the hospital, physician offices, Customs and Immigration Departments.
“Enhanced monitoring of patients presenting with respiratory illnesses will continue, guided by recommendations from WHO, and our regional authorities, Pan American Health Organization [PAHO] and Caribbean Public Health Agency [CARPHA].”