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WATCH: Second death from Covid-19 in the island is confirmed

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A SECOND person in Guernsey has died after contracting Covid-19, it was announced yesterday.

Left to right: Deputy Gavin St Pier, Director of Public Health Dr Nicola Brink and head of Law Enforcement Ruari Hardy. (27868807)

And, as the total number of people with the illness in the island passed the 100 mark, it emerged that three of the patients are infants.

Director of Public Health Dr Nicola Brink revealed the latest figures at a media briefing yesterday.

She said she was saddened to have been given the news that the island has had its second Covid-19-related death. ‘Our condolences go out to the family at a time that will be very sad for them,’ she said.

As of yesterday afternoon there were 114 positive cases, up from 97 the day before. There had been 718 negative results and 78 people were still waiting for their results.

A second cluster has been found in another care home and Dr Brink said appropriate interventions and precautions have been put in place to deal with this outbreak. A total of 13 people in the home have tested positive – 11 residents and two staff members. Of the 114 cases, five had required hospitalisation.

The age range of people with Covid-19 in the Bailiwick was from less than one- year-old to well over 80. The average age of patients was 56, with the average for men being 57 and women, 54.

Of the three infants with the illness, she said they had done ‘remarkably well’.

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She said that while the increase might seem significant, there was a difference in the way Guernsey was working compared to other jurisdictions.

‘We are pro-actively looking for cases [by] going out into the community and having a very low threshold to screening people with respiratory symptoms of any degree,’ said Dr Brink.

‘If I was reporting to you in a similar way to what England is reporting, I would be saying to you we have five cases, because that’s how many we have [with it] in our hospital.’

She explained that going out and pro-actively looking for cases was deemed the right thing to do for our jurisdiction. As a result of this, the island had a higher testing rate per capita (per 100,000 people) than other places. The UK was testing about 10,000 people a day, or 2.46 per capita, while the island was doing about 50, or 11.67 per capita.

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Apart from saying that Guernsey was behind the UK in terms of progress of the virus, Dr Brink was unable to give any indication yet of when the predicted peak of the disease might be.

‘The one question we want to answer over the next week or so is what level our community seeding is. With our enhanced testing policy we will hopefully be able to look at that in more detail.’

So far, of the 40 people tested at the Longfrie surgery, results had come back on 15 of them, 14 of which were negative.

Dr Brink said she would like to get about 100 tests done to get a better picture of whether there is widespread community seeding.

More than 900 extraction kits had arrived yesterday and these were being distributed to the new respiratory surgery at Chest & Heart; testing at the PEH; those picked up through the Joint Emergency Services Control Centre; and contacts of patients who were symptomatic.

Their use will be spread over the coming week, said Dr Brink.

More on Pages 3 & 4

Comment Page 10

Mark Ogier

By Mark Ogier
News reporter

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