Calls for “more science” to deal with the virus


House of Keys chairman Juan Watterson says the Isle of Man borders were opened too soon.

In a letter to the Manx government yesterday, Mr Watterson says islanders are now living with the effects of opening too quickly – a virus outbreak in a nursing home, an increase in hospitals, public nervousness and an economy that is slow to recover.

He is now asking the Manx government to base all its decisions on science.

His suggestions include:

Clear advice is given to those most vulnerable to armor during the estimated peak transmission period.
Mask wearing is mandatory on buses and indoor unventilated spaces where social distancing cannot be maintained, subject to continuous review.
A contingency plan in the event of a resurgence of cases around the date of the general election.
No direct travel from “orange” / category 2 countries (to be reviewed in 4 weeks).
Availability of one-on-one / business support when people have been forced to self-isolate.
LFT compulsory for all sports activities for children, nurseries, etc. over the next 4 weeks.
Recognition that the next step in “living with Covid” is collective immunity.
An evaluation of the long Covid in children if no mitigation measure is to be sought.
A requirement for anyone who tests positive on an LFT to avoid medical or child-based settings, especially for vulnerable people.
Awareness raising and dedicated messages on the main risks to public health.

During a press briefing yesterday, the Chief Minister said it was important to put the situation in context.

He added: “Compare our position now to just four months ago. As of mid-March, we had over 850 active COVID cases, with 23 people hospitalized with the virus.

“Today we have well more than double that number of active cases and the number of people hospitalized is five,” he added.

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