Isle of Man facing possible community transmission with new Covid cases

Rebecca Speare-Cole
The Isle of Man has detected two new cases without links to a known chain  of transmission. (Google Maps)
The Isle of Man has detected two new cases without links to a known chain of transmission. (Google Maps)

New cases of coronavirus detected on the Isle of Man could mean a resurgence of community transmission, the government has said.

At least eight new Covid cases have been identified on the island in the last few days, with two that cannot be linked to a known chain of transmission.

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

It comes after the Isle of Man lifted all lockdown restrictions on February 1, following a three-week circuit breaker.

Read: People flock to parks and beaches to enjoy sunshine despite Covid warning

While the rest of the UK has been living under strict Covid restrictions for months, the Irish Sea island has been able to ease rules due to its low number of cases.

But the latest cases have prompted Quayle to urge residents to stay home and avoid mixing with other households as a “precaution”.

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He said:“There is a risk that there is a level of community transmission, with unexplained cases not linked to the existing cluster, now underway.

“As a precautionary measure, we are asking the public, with immediate effect, to stay at home where possible, stay safe, and avoid mixing households.

“We recognise there are a large number of events planned for today and tonight and we would ask all event organisers to postpone these.

“Ultimately, this is a precautionary measure for now and we will continue to review the situation as more information develops. For now, the advice has to be to exercise caution, be careful, stay safe and stay at home where you can.”

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

A statement on Saturday said the number of current active Covid cases stood at 49 - 44 of which are linked to a recent cluster, and all are in isolation.

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

The government on Saturday also released a list of locations that could have a low risk of community transmission.

Dr Henrietta Ewart, Director of Public Health, said: “The risk to members of the public who were at these venues at the relevant times is small, but as a community, we must be vigilant.”