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Island is prepared to deal with coronavirus

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The Isle of Man to ready to respond to the Wuhan novel coronavirus (WN-CoV) should a potential case of the disease arrive here.

The Island takes its lead from Public Health England and the World Health Organisation, both of which are providing a flow of updated information, guidance and advice. It is a rapidly evolving situation as this is a 'novel' or new strain to humans, and evidence of human-to-human transmission of the virus continues to emerge.

The risk to the public is low and there are currently no confirmed cases in the UK (as of 28 Jan 2020). However, the Isle of Man health service has put in place a number of precautionary measures to assist anyone suspected of having the virus, and to protect the public. Information covering detection and diagnosis of possible cases is being shared with health care professionals along with infection prevention and control measures.

Director of Public Health Dr Henrietta Ewart said:

'The health service is prepared to deal with this type of situation. We are remaining vigilant and keeping our plans under review, responding as necessary to the latest advice from Public Health England and the World Health Organisation.

'Identifying potential cases swiftly, isolating those under investigation to help prevent transmission of the virus and protecting health staff are key principles guiding our plan.

She added:

'No system of checks can offer absolute protection because of the incubation period of the virus. However, we have taken proportionate, precautionary measures and our team is liaising closely with colleagues in other parts of government to ensure the Isle of Man is responding in line with emerging scientific evidence, including the provision of appropriate and timely advice to the public.'