Almost 100 new cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19), fuelled by a further rise in numbers in the rapidly spreading Omicron variant, have pushed Bermuda’s COVID-19 total past 6,000, health officials said.
A government spokeswoman said that 97 cases of the virus were recorded in the latest batch of 5,849 tests carried out from Sunday to Tuesday.
There are 234 active coronavirus cases with young people the hardest hit, according to officials, with two people are in hospital, but neither is in intensive care.
The figures showed active cases had more than doubled since 102 were recorded on Monday.
Typing by variant was available for 160 of the 234 active cases – with 144 cases, 90 per cent, of them Omicron. The remaining 16 cases were the older Delta variant, responsible for the majority of the island’s fourth wave of cases in the autumn.
It is the first time two people are in hospital with the virus since November 15.
Omicron cases have climbed sharply since the first case was detected by health officials on December 7. The latest figures brought the number of confirmed coronavirus cases since March 2020 to 6,014. A total of 106 people have died on the island.
A curfew — the first since the start of November — has been reintroduced to run from 12:30 am until 5 am for at least a month.
“The ministry notes that as Bermuda heads into the long holiday weekend the public is urged to please adhere to the current guidelines and requirements that are in place,” said a spokeswoman for the Health Ministry.
‘The public should note that the Omicron variant is rapidly spreading. The public cannot become complacent. Any regulations that are in place are there to protect and save lives,” the spokeswoman added.
“Please continue to wear your mask, wash your hands, keep physically distanced from others, not in your household and add antigen tests to your pandemic toolbox before you socialise with your family and friends.”
Of the 97 new cases, 67 are from overseas, 12 are classed as on-island transmissions and 18 are under investigation and the spokeswoman said there had been 15 recoveries since the last update.
The statistics showed that 94 per cent of the island’s active cases from overseas were in fully vaccinated people.
As of Tuesday, the average age of the island’s positive cases was 30, with the majority of people testing positive in the age range of 10 to 19.
The Ministry of Health said that 70.9 per cent of the population had been given two doses of the vaccine by December 18 with 31.4 per cent of the population now having also received a booster shot.