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Coronavirus: Isle of Man 'can cope' with second Covid surge

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image captionA total of 24 people died as a result of the first coronavirus outbreak on the island

The Isle of Man's health service has the "resilience" to cope with a resurgence of the coronavirus, the health minister has said.

David Ashford said plans were in place that could see areas of Noble's Hospital converted to cope with new cases of Covid-19 "pretty quickly".

Mr Ashford previously said the health department was working on the basis of "when and not if" the virus returns.

The island currently has two active cases. Both are isolating at home.

Under the plans, many of the day-to-day services at the hospital would continue to be offered alongside any response to an increase of positive cases.

Mr Ashford said the hospital also had "resilience in terms of staff", as the team "know what they're doing" following the first outbreak in March.

"We have the ability to switch two wards back to being Covid wards pretty quickly if we need to," he said.

image copyrightIOM Government
image captionThe Isle of Man set up its own coronavirus testing lab in April

In order to maintain capacity during the winter months, the department would commission beds at care homes for those who were well enough to be discharged but needed some assistance.

Two logistical teams have also been established to co-ordinate support and care for those in the community with the virus and supplies of personal protective equipment had been sourced to cope with another outbreak, Mr Ashford said.

"Should Covid-19 emerge... one of the issues we will not be contending with is a shortage of PPE," he added.

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