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Sarkees warned not to ignore virus threat

News | Published:

SARK is not safe from the threat of the coronavirus, residents have been told, despite going two weeks without a positive test.

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The island’s Pandemic Emergency Committee was talking after the lockdown across the Bailiwick was extended on Tuesday.

Seven samples have been taken in Sark, with five negative results and two still pending as of yesterday lunchtime.

The committee said that decisions were being made based on the latest evidence and expert advice on how the Covid-19 virus is developing in the Bailiwick.

‘It is not a case of having looser guidelines because we haven’t had any positive tests yet or because some people think that after 14 days the island is safe. The only way to protect your family, your friends and the whole community of Sark at the moment is to trust in the expert advice we are receiving,’ said a committee spokesman.

The committee said that the advanced level of testing that has been carried out in some Guernsey care homes in the past week has shown a number of cases where individuals have tested positive while displaying extremely mild or almost no symptoms.

‘If it wasn’t for the extra testing carried out in the care homes these cases might not have been detected.

‘This evidence, combined with Sark’s older population and limited medical facilities has led to the direct advice from Dr [Nicola] Brink that we keep the measures in place for a little while longer to protect our whole community.’

The committee said that anyone needing critical treatment for Covid-19 related illness is going to have to go to the Princess Elizabeth Hospital.

‘As the islands all share this essential facility, we must work together to manage the strain that it might come under. We have all seen the terrible situations elsewhere in Europe where hospitals are full and governments are rushing to build emergency facilities. We do not want that to happen in the Bailiwick.

‘This is about trying to ensure that should any of us fall ill there will be enough beds, staff and equipment available so that they can be treated.’

Nick Mann

By Nick Mann
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