Covid: New cases 'could mean community spread' on Isle of Man

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Aerial view of the Isle of ManImage source, DAVE KNEALE
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There have been a total of 484 cases of coronavirus on the island since March

Nine new cases of coronavirus have been detected on the Isle of Man, including two that cannot be linked to a known chain of transmission, the government has said.

People have been urged to stay at home, avoid mixing with other households and postpone events as a "precaution".

Chief Minister Howard Quayle said it was now "possible that the virus is circulating in the community" again.

A clearer picture would be known "within 24 hours", he added.

Mr Quayle said while the government had "stopped short" of making the measures a legal requirement, the "clear advice" was for people to stay at home where possible as a "precautionary measure for now".

Image source, IOM GOV
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Howard Quayle called for people to cancel any events planned on Saturday

"As we are unable at this stage to link either of these cases to a known transmission chain - or to each other - we must conclude that it is possible that the virus is circulating in the community," Mr Quayle said.

The situation would become clearer as the contact tracing process progressed, he continued.

"We will continue to review the situation as more information develops", he added.

There are currently 49 active cases of the virus on the island, 44 of which are linked to a recent cluster, and all are in isolation.

Six of the latest cases are linked to the cluster, which stems from a member of the ferry crew.

The remaining case was picked up in a traveller through the island's strict isolation and testing regime.

With the exception of the current border closure to almost all non-residents, the island lifted all Covid-19 restrictions for a second time on 1 February, following a three week circuit break.

A total of 484 people have tested positive for the virus since the start of the pandemic, 25 of whom died.

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