Coronavirus: Expect more deaths, chief minister warns

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Howard QuayleImage source, IOM government
Image caption,
Chief Minister Howard Quayle said Wednesday's coronavirus death "would not be the last"

People on the Isle of Man must prepare to see more deaths from coronavirus as the island fights "an invisible enemy", the chief minister has warned.

The first death on the island was confirmed on Wednesday evening.

Howard Quayle said "too many of us will lose loved ones" during the outbreak, and accepted people would be "scared".

A further 27 positive cases of Covid-19 were confirmed on Thursday, the highest daily rise to date, bringing the island's total to 95.

Mr Quayle said Wednesday's death would "send a shock through our community" and would "not be the last".

Health care staff were doing everything they could "but there will be more deaths and we need to be ready for that", he added.

Several restrictions have been put in place in a bid to limit the spread of the virus, including the closure of the island's borders to everyone, including returning Isle of Man residents as things stand.

Some key workers in health care and infrastructure will be granted entry with written permission.

All non-essential businesses have also been closed, including bars and restaurants, barbers and clothes stores.

Meanwhile, people have been ordered to only leave their homes for basic shopping, to help the vulnerable or for short periods of exercise, and must practice social distancing.

A temporary national speed limit of 40mph was also introduced to reduce the risk of road accidents and take pressure off the health service.

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