Coronavirus: Isle of Man testing lab 'to open next week'

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image captionSamples are currently analysed at a specialist laboratory in Manchester

A coronavirus testing centre will open on the Isle of Man next week, the health department has said.

Swabs taken from suspected Covid-19 patients currently have to be flown to Manchester for analysis.

Health chief executive Kathryn Magson said the Noble's Hospital laboratory was "on track" to open on Monday.

About 200 tests per day are expected to be carried out per day, representing a significant increase from the current average of about 60.

Samples will continue to be taken from people at a temporary unit at the TT grandstand in Douglas.

The number of positive tests for the virus on the island stands at 284. Four people have died with coronavirus.

A total of 154 patients are "presumed recovered", after observing the required period of self-isolation.

Ms Magson said testing and contact tracing was a "fundamental part" of the health department's strategy to contain the spread of the virus.

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