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Coronavirus: 15 New Cases In Guernsey

There are now 17 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Guernsey.

An extra 15 people have been officially diagnosed since 4:30pm yesterday (20 March) and 6:15pm today.

299 tests have been carried out altogether. 61 are still pending.

The States of Guernsey says all cases have a clear travel history and developed symptoms after arriving in the island from the UK, France, Tenerife, Mainland Spain, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. None appear to be contracted locally.

They all followed government advice, went straight into self-isolation and are being supported by health professionals.

"Guernsey has prepared for COVID-19 using World Health Organisation guidelines for managing a pandemic, that is you design your response so that it is specific to your local jurisdiction. Guernsey included countries on its Group A and Group B lists for affected areas much sooner than Public Health England. We took into account our ageing demographic and the number who have holiday homes in France and Mainland Spain. This has allowed us to design a Bailiwick specific response. It is encouraging that our more cautious approach has resulted in us picking up these cases.

"As we face an increasingly difficult time, it is important that we continue to plan and adapt to ensure that our response is right for the Bailiwick. For example, we are able to increase the number of people in our Tracing Unit so we can manage the contacts around these new individual positive cases." - Dr. Nicola Brink, Director of Public Health.

The test results received in the last 24 hours were carried out between 17 and 19 March 2020. Results from between 11 and 14 March 2020 still aren't back because the laboratory in Birmingham (that HSC uses) the samples were sent to were unable to process them and they've been sent to another laboratory in Colindale. They are in a total batch of around 500 from across the UK.

"It is clear that the nature of spread of COVID-19 has changed and more and more cases are being identified globally. This is exactly as Dr Brink and her team had predicted through their modelling and has been used as the basis for recent decisions such as closing our borders to non-essential travel, the temporary closing of schools early for Easter and the change in the licensing rules for pubs and clubs.

"Whilst these restrictive measures are viewed by some as an inconvenience, the results that we have received over the last 24 hour starkly demonstrate why those decisions have been made.

"Additional resources have been made available to support Public Health and I am incredibly grateful to everyone involved. They are working incredibly hard to do their utmost to support our community.

"Let's be clear, we know and have always known that we will have more positive cases in Guernsey but the good news is we have no cases of transmission within the community and so remain in the 'contain' phase of our plan." - Deputy Gavin St Pier, President of the Committee for Health & Social Care.

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