Isle of Man Government’s Public Health Directorate has published a surveillance report, which will be updated weekly, to provide a summary of indicators which are used to understand the status of the current wave of COVID-19 in the Isle of Man.
The report has been compiled by the Public Health Intelligence team using data from Manx Care and the Civil Registry, and aims to increase public accessibility to data to help individuals, businesses and the wider community ‘be smart’ and make informed decisions about their own behaviour.
The weekly report will be published each Thursday while the Island manages the pandemic and details a summary of key points from the 28 June, which is taken to be the beginning of the current (third) wave. It also demonstrates an almost even split of hospitalised patients being symptomatic, and asymptomatic which highlights the need to remain vigilant and utilise Lateral Flow Device testing, which is available to all Island residents free of charge.
- The first report demonstrates that the Isle of Man is currently experiencing a third wave of widespread community transmission, the impact of which is significantly mediated by the vaccination programme
- Currently, the wave dynamics indicate a significant fall from peak daily new cases to a current position of slower decline/plateau, with notable daily variation as would be expected for a small population. This position is likely to continue.
- A fourth wave is predicted for the UK during Autumn/Winter 2021-22, although the timing of this is uncertain. It is reasonable to expect a similar wave here.
- The start of the new school term in September may lead to a further surge in cases due to increased mixing of a population group (aged 11-16) who are largely unvaccinated and have similar infection/transmission rates as older adults.
- Autumn/Winter will likely see significant changes in mixing patterns (and hence COVID-19 and other respiratory pathogen transmission) due to people spending more time indoors with lower levels of fresh air/ventilation.
- Winter pressures on health and care may be significantly increased this year if a further wave of COVID-19 coincides with increased incidence of other seasonal respiratory infections (flu, RSV, etc) which were largely suppressed last year, including on Island, due to restrictions on mixing in place across.
Henrietta Ewart, Director of Public Health, commented:
‘Council of Ministers have made a commitment to sharing appropriate information that will help the Manx public to make positive choices and consider their personal response to Covid-19. The first surveillance report demonstrates that the overall trend of confirmed cases is decreasing, but COVID-19 remains in our community.
‘While the vaccination programme has substantially increased our collective defences, and is the most effective measure you can take to prevent potentially life threatening illness, COVID-19 is still a very real threat to our Island.
‘Vaccination, whilst effective, is not a silver bullet and we have seen cases in our hospital who have been fully vaccinated. This is to be somewhat expected given that such a large proportion of our Island have now been fully vaccinated. Thankfully, the likelihood is that those people are very significantly less ill than they might otherwise have been.
‘As we look ahead toward autumn, pressures on health and care are likely to increase and it is reasonable to expect a fourth wave, similar to the UK, here. None of this is said to alarm anyone, but being ‘safe, smart, and kind’ is all about making informed decisions based on the best available data. Right now, the data indicates that we do need to take collective action to protect ourselves and others.’
Government advise everyone to ‘Be Safe’ and protect yourself from Coronavirus by thinking ‘hands, face, space and fresh air, ‘Be Smart’ and make informed decisions using trusted and credible data sources, such as the surveillance report, and ‘Be Kind’ and tolerant to others.
Visit the Public Health Guidance section of the COVID-19 website to view the dashboard each week.