Covid: Manx outbreak will be 'more difficult' to eliminate

Related Topics
image copyrightIOM Government
image captionPublic Health Director Dr Henrietta Ewart expects the outbreak to peak in a week

The latest Covid-19 outbreak that forced the island back into lockdown will be "more difficult" to eliminate, the public health director has said.

The Isle of Man began a 21-day circuit-breaker on Wednesday after a rise in coronavirus cases.

Dr Henrietta Ewart said the current spike was already more "widespread" and was expected to peak in a week.

Recent positive tests have all been the Kent variant which is much more transmissible, she added.

Prior to the latest surge in cases, the island had not had community spread of any of the more virulent Covid-19 variants.

Though the Kent strain is more infectious, there is no evidence that it is more deadly.

Announcing the lockdown, Chief Minister Howard Quayle said the government's policy remained one of "local elimination" of the virus until the most vulnerable had been vaccinated.

image captionThe Isle of Man's second lockdown started on 7 January and finished on 1 February

On Thursday, the island saw its largest daily rise of positive tests since the pandemic began with 36 identified.

There are currently 106 active cases, many of which are linked to a ferry crew member who had the virus, but the source of some is still unexplained.

Dr Ewart said it was "impossible" to predict how many positive tests would emerge as part of the current outbreak but she expected it to peak within the next week.

"We are not over the peak yet and we will have a way to go to get there," she added.

Throughout the pandemic, the island has relied on a team of people to interview those who have tested positive in order to identify transmission sources and instruct high-risk contacts to self-isolate and discover venues that have been visited.

Mr Quayle said contact tracers had been "dealing with a considerable volume of work" since the outbreak.

Almost 300 households have been told to self-isolate, including whole year groups at three schools.

Why not follow BBC Isle of Man on Facebook and Twitter? You can also send story ideas to

More on this story

Related Internet Links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.