Howard, David, Dr Al
Well good afternoon everyone
Thanks for tuning in
Cases are increasing
Vaccination is a game changer tho, so we’re shifting focus away from raw case numbers
Key metric = HOSPITAL CAPACITY
Currently, no hospital admissions
Inevitable that there will be some as cases increase
But more and more people are protected via Vax
Case numbers are increasing so lots of close contacts. Around 900 yesterday evening
Fully vaccinated close contacts are not required to self isolate
While we’ve made massive strides on jabs. There are still 12,000 second jabs to dish out
Gov has listened to concerns and acted;
- Change in approach to isolation requirements
- New home testing scheme launched and end to PCR and self-isolation for people identified as close contacts (as long as they have no symptoms)
Policy going forward and it applies retrospectively
Close contacts are now encouraged to take part in free 7 day home testing. Take a test every day for 7 days (they’re free)
They offer close contacts peace of mind and give the gov some data
Anonymous online reporting for close contacts to record daily negatives
Anyone with as positive test should call 111 and they’ll be offered a PCR
Thanks to Civil Defence for making thousands of LFT kits available last night. Pharmacies have stock too, and the schools will have more in the car parks again tonight. Please wear a mask.
Some will like the approach, some won’t. These decisions are never easy.
It comes back to the phrase I often turn to – THE BALANCE OF RISK – (not sure we’ve actually heard that one before?)
Consider personal choices
Close contacts should consider telling their boss and mates so they can make informed choices
And take the usual precautions if you are a close contact – think about who you interact with, minimise face to face close contact etc
People are being rude to swabbers – pack it in please. Why would you wanna make someone cry?
If it happens again we’ll call the police
Hard copy letters for Vaccination status are available, as we don’t have access to NHS digital yet. Urgent purposes only, if you are travelling in the next two weeks
Letter is not needed for travel to the UK. 400 letters have gone out this week, it’s a short term solution
People are even being rude about the letters. Calm the F down guys.
Try not to miss your jab appointment, don’t turn up if you have been told to isolate or if you have symptoms
Please go to Ramsey Cottage for minor injuries, it’s well equipped. Nobles is super busy
COMEN have been reviewing policies so we can flex our response over the Summer
Changes to regulation will go before Tynwald next week. I’ll let you know what they say.
Arianne: Criteria for close contacts?
HQ: Team of investigators work on it
DA: Various range of things. Who people have been in contact with and the environment. Hugging and sh@gging are obviously different from chatting with someone outside.
Arianne: Mum with a newborn is terrified to leave the house…
DA: Nervous time for many people. Risks to children are very low. If people are concerned think about ventilation and avoiding crowds, wash your hands, wear a mask
Paul: Are medical advisors to COMEN 100% onboard with your actions?
DA: Yep. Dr Henny hasn’t voiced concerns. She hasn’t opposed any measures. Medical opinion is split on all decisions. Some medics don’t think this is the right approach.
Paul: Medical Director onboard?
DA: Views feed in and some of them differ. COMEN need to consider lots of other things – jabs and mental health
Paul: Gov are organising a big Cav event?
HQ: Asking people to manage their own risk. Decide for yourself whether you want to wear a face mask.
Paul: If you went to a supermarket would you wear a mask?
HQ: Ermm. If it was rammed, yeah. If it was dead, maybe not. Too busy to do the big shop anyway
DA: I will be in a crowded space with poor ventilation.
HQ: Most vulnerable have had two jobs. I know people are concerned but we have to move forward
Dave: Does the gov know how many are isolating?
HQ: Said it in the speech Dave. 900 / 800 close contacts.
Dave: Have gov abdicated responsibility?
HQ: Moving forward by helping the community and businesses
DA: We’re providing LFT’s to help continuous monitoring. We need to allow people to make personal choices and live their lives
Dave: Announcement last night wasn’t you giving in to public demand?
HQ: Absolutely not. Moving forward.
Paul: One dose of Pfizer offers barely any protection to the Delta variant..
DA: Study was in relation to symptomatic disease rather than hospitalisation or death. Advice to the vulnerable is to consider crowded spaces and maybe wear a mask.
Paul: You say we have to move forward. What is the trade off of remaining at level 1? Are the tourists worth the risk? What about long covid?
HQ: Long Covid numbers are low. 90% of our population are protected
DA: Another step on the road to normality. This was always going to be the most difficult part. We have to move on.
Sam: There are vulnerable children that haven’t been vaccinated. They can’t play out with mates and their parents are worried about returning to school. What are we doing to protect vulnerable children? If we’re following the UK’s strategy, which it looks like we are, is this not irresponsible?
DA: Even with vulnerability, the risk to children is very low. Natural for parents to be concerned. Covid isn’t going to go away, likely to circulate forever, you need to start living with it. Risk to kids is exceptionally low.
Dr Al: Very important to remember kids with Asthma are still unlikely to be hospitalized. Schools are as safe as possible. But don’t send your kids in if they are unwell.
Sam: LFT’s. Manx Care have said call volumes have affected the government. People are waiting 4 days for a test and have been told to go about their business before they get a PCR? Is the system set up to fail?
DA: 111 have been busy and they are changing their procedures. I know of a constituent who waited several days for a test, but the system is speeding up again. No legal requirement for people to self iso after a positive LFT but I would isolate until PCR.
In January we saw a similar peak, the same has happened again. Starting to settle down.
Al Bell: England Gov scientist said to expect 200 daily deaths when restriction lifts next week. On IoM that would equate to 1 – 2 deaths per week. Are we prepared for it?
DA: You’re referring to one piece of modelling that not everyone agrees on. If we see issues with the hospital we’ll respond
HQ: Sometimes people who are terminally ill will have Covid. Covid may be something there but it’s not what makes them seriously ill.
Al Bell: How many people do you expect to die on the island?
HQ: Doing our utmost to ensure that there are no deaths. But sadly people will die of various illnesses, and they might have Covid at the time.
We have a pretty good track record.
Al Bell: There have been some suggestions from conspiracy theorists on social media that the A&E rush is because of vaccine reactions?
That’s all folks.
Good luck Cav 🐐 🇮🇲