One active Covid case remains in Guernsey

A NEW case of Covid-19 has not been seen in the island since 26 February, and only one case remains active.

Alderney and Sark are now in Stage 3 of the exit from lockdown.

The Civil Contingencies Authority are due to make a decision next Tuesday about when Guernsey will move to Stage 3.

Chair of the CCA Deputy Peter Ferbrache said, unless anything untoward happens, it is likely that the move will take place on Monday 22 March.

'We don't want to delay it a second longer than we need, we don't want to open it up and have to go back a stage or two,' he said.

The internal economy will open up in Stage 3, with life going back to 'as normal as it can be'.

'There may be some considerations about things we have to do,' Deputy Ferbrache said as he gave an example that assurances might need to be given that large gatherings can go ahead safely.

'But that doesn't mean there's going to be any undue restrictions.'

Yesterday, the CCA discussed the Bailiwick blueprint. This looks at how borders might open up in time.

'Whatever we do will be caveated by restrictions because who's going to know what's going on in other jurisdictions and we want to make sure our jurisdiction is as safe as possible.

'But we want to give people hope because this has been very difficult for people,' he said.

Handing over to director of Public Health Dr Nicola Brink said the figures are good.

Graphic by the States of Guernsey. (29320773)

A new case of the virus has not been found in 11 days, and only one active case remains. That person is in hospital.

Graphic by the States of Guernsey. (29320775)

The overwhelming majority of cases were detected through contact tracing.

After looking at the new variants of the virus, a decision has been made to start contact tracing from 72 hours before someone becomes symtomatic.

Graphic by the States of Guernsey. (29320777)

'We've just had one year since we diagnosed the first case of Covid-19. At that time we could do 35 tests a day,' Dr Brink said.

'Those 35 tests had to be sent to the UK and, because they were really busy themselves, we often waited three or four days for that result.'

Now, at the end of the second wave [26 February, when the last case was identified], testing capacity has increased 50-fold.

'At a push we could go up to 2,000 tests in a day,' Dr Brink said.

'That's because we've developed our own on-island testing capacity and our ability to do this genetic analysis will impact our ability to look at a number of other respiratory viruses and infectious diseases in the future.'

There is a huge difference in the number of tests carried out per day in the first wave [a 52-day wave] to the second wave [a 35-day].

Just under 30,000 tests were carried out in the second wave.

'Developing our on-island testing capacity and refining our contact tracing process has enabled us to manage the second wave more effectively,' Dr Brink said.

Graphic by the States of Guernsey. (29320779)

5,000 additional doses of the vaccine have been given to the Bailiwick this week.

'We're planning to integrate them into what we deliver over the next week,' she said.

In the next shipment, 975 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 7,640 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine are expected.

'The Community Vaccine Centre will now be opening over a seven-day period for this time so we can deliver those additional vaccine doses,' Dr Brink said.

Graphic by the States of Guernsey. (29320781)

About 31% of the population have now had at least one dose of the Covid vaccine.

20% have had one dose and 10% or 11% have had both doses.

To date, 24,346 doses have been administered.

Relaying a message from the head of the acute nursing service, Dr Brink thanked people for their consideration and compliance when visiting relatives in the hospital.

Before answering questions from the media, Deputy Ferbrache encouraged people to spend their money in Guernsey to help local retailers who have had a tough time because of the lockdown.

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