Cases of Covid-19 have continued to rise in the Isle of Man and six people are now being treated in hospital.
A further 81 cases were confirmed after testing on Saturday meaning the total number of active cases now stands at 315. More than 1,000 people are currently in self-isolation – with 187 instructed to do so in the previous 24 hours.
Chief Minister Howard Quayle MHK said:
‘I understand that the numbers may cause concern to the public but increasingly, they should be the result of transmission within households. We are not yet at the peak but may reach that point early next week as we start to see the effects of the first week of lockdown.
‘We are entering an important phase. It is more important than ever that we work together as a community by staying at home as much as possible to protect our vaccination programme and front line services.’
The Council of Ministers has considered the situation regarding schools, nurseries and childminders. Given the most recent data, they will remain closed tomorrow (Monday 8 March). Announcements on provision beyond Monday will follow shortly.
Dr Alex Allinson MHK, Minister for Education, Sport and Culture, said:
‘We have made the important and necessary decision to keep schools, nurseries and childminders closed for tomorrow to stop transmission between our young people. We are continuing to review this and are ready to make any changes when it is safe to do so but for now I ask you to please keep your children home.’
On Saturday, more than 600 people were swabbed on the Island with 81 (13%) testing positive.
The Contact Tracing team are continuing to work tirelessly through the significant number of close contacts of those who test positive for the virus. They are asking people to be patient whilst the team work to contact everyone.
Anyone with symptoms is asked to contact 111 immediately. Do not assume the symptoms are something else.
Dr Henrietta Ewart, Director of Public Health, said:
‘We are heading to the end of the first week of lockdown and are starting to see the effect of community transmission of the virus with cases estimated to rise over the next few days as we hit the peak.
‘It is important to remember that the majority of these new positive cases will be as a result of transmission within households and close contacts, and so will already be in isolation.
'I would encourage the whole community to be vigilant and continue to practise good hand and respiratory hygiene. If you do have any symptoms, please report these with 111.’
The vaccination programme is continuing at pace with over 85% of the top 3 priority groups having already received at least one dose. From Monday 1,000 doses will be delivered five days a week, ramping up the rollout to the Island’s most vulnerable.
An option to register online will be available early next week and further information will follow on Monday.