Cases of Covid-19 have continued to rise in the Isle of Man and five people are being treated in hospital.
A further 71 cases were confirmed on Friday meaning the total number of active cases now stands at 234. More than 1,000 people are currently in self-isolation – with 287 instructed to do so in the previous 24 hours.
Chief Minister Howard Quayle MHK said: ‘We know numbers will continue to rise for at least a few more days. We are not yet at the peak but may reach that point early next week.
‘We must all continue to act as though we ourselves have the virus. Stay at home as much as possible to protect our vaccination programme and front line services.’
The Council of Ministers met on Saturday and is continuing the review the evidence relating to schools and early year settings. For now parents are asked to keep their children at home and away from playgrounds.
Dr Alex Allinson MHK, Minister for Education, Sport and Culture, said: ‘For now home is the safest place for children and work is ongoing to provide options for critical workers so that we can support them to continue to work in front line services.’
On Friday, more than 500 people were swabbed on the Island with 70 (14%) testing positive. A further 928 people are booked in for tests this weekend.
The Contact Tracing team are continuing to work through the close contacts of those who test positive for the virus. Anyone with symptoms is asked to contact 111 immediately. Do not assume the symptoms are something else. People that call are asked to be patient as the service continues to receive a high volume of calls.
Dr Henrietta Ewart, Director of Public Health, said: ‘The biggest increase is in children between the ages of 10 and 14 with 20 new cases reported overnight.
‘We would expect the average incubation period to be around 5-6 days so we could estimate that the peak in cases due to community transmission will come at the start of this coming week. We have to remember, though, that most positive cases will now be self-isolating in households with other family members. This means that we will expect to see new cases in self-isolating households from secondary transmission which will continue to be reflected in the numbers after this. People who are self-isolating in a household should try to spend as little time together as possible.
‘We appreciate that this can be difficult for those living in small properties and for families with children.’ With so many people isolating the hospital is ready to act quickly and expand capacity if needed and all the Island’s other essential services are being closely monitored.
With so many people isolating the hospital is ready to act quickly and expand capacity if needed and all the Island’s other essential services are being closely monitored.
The vaccination programme is set to ramp up significantly in the coming days and by Wednesday all over 70s should have received a letter inviting them to register. This can be done by calling 111. Registrations will also move online early next week for those who chose to use this option and further information will follow on Monday.
If anyone has not received their letter by Wednesday they are asked to contact email@example.com
The vaccination plan remains on track and from Monday, will see 1,000 doses delivered five days a week, maximising all deliveries being received.