Guernsey could eliminate all confirmed traces of covid-19 within the Bailiwick within days, as the number of active cases drops to just eight.
Those eight patients are all in Guernsey as Alderney, Sark and Herm remain free of the corona virus, along with the private islands of Jethou and Brecqhou.
Yesterday marked 13 days in a row with no more positive test results announced, as Public Health continued to encourage anyone with any covid-19 symptoms, however mild, to come forward for screening.
Dr Nicola Brink, Guernsey's Director of Public Health, gave the first confirmation the island is now looking to eliminate traces of covid-19 when she Tweeted her pleasure at the latest figures yesterday, writing "we need to all keep up the hard work to eliminate the virus that causes covid-19 from Guernsey.
Day 13 with no new positives. Active cases down to 8. Really very pleased but we need to all keep up the hard work to eliminate the virus that causes COVID-19 from Guernsey! #GuernseyTogether https://t.co/hvdCcXwDeb— Nicola Brink (@DrNicolaBrink) May 13, 2020
Deputy Heidi Soulsby, the island's President of Health and Social Care, said Public Health is working on a way to confirm the virus has been eradicated locally, which could involve a set time frame of two or three weeks or longer, with no new cases detected.
She also urged caution but said the most recent results continue to be pleasing.
Deputy Gavin St Pier and Deputy Soulsby, have been responding to concerns and queries raised by some members of the public on social media regarding the lockdown measures and whether they should now be relaxed more quickly, and whether eliminating the virus locally could see lockdown relaxed entirely within the Bailiwick, but see us cut off from elsewhere with our ports remaining closed long term.
Deputy St Pier replied to one such query this morning to confirm the virus isn't eliminated locally yet but when it is, further steps will be taken in a controlled manner.
We can’t claim ‘elimination’ just yet; but controlling it, opening up schools and businesses is exactly what we will do, but in series of controlled steps - not a single ‘bold’ one which could subsequently prove to be not bold but stupid.— Gavin St Pier #GuernseyTogether #StayAtHome (@gavinstpier) May 14, 2020
Elsewhere today, the World Health Organisation has said it is likely that covid-19 will never be eliminated.
Mike Ryan, an Executive Director with the WHO, has been quoted as saying "the virus may just become one of the viruses around the world that kill people annually".
According to reports in publications including Sahara Reports, the Daily Mail, and CNN, he said:
“We have a new virus entering the human population for the first time and therefore it is very hard to predict when we will prevail over it.
“This virus just may become another endemic virus in our communities and this virus may never go away. HIV hasn’t gone away.
“I’m not comparing the two diseases but I think it is important that we’re realistic. I don’t think anyone can predict when or if this disease will disappear
“HIV has not gone away — but we have come to terms with the virus.”
Pictured: Guernsey's corona virus data is all recorded at gov.gg/coronavirus.
The first positive test result for covid-19 in Guernsey was recorded on 9 March. The first death was reported later that month, just days after the Bailiwick had gone into lockdown.
In total, by yesterday, there had been 252 confirmed positive test results recorded - compared to 3548 negative.
13 people had died after testing positive for covid-19, with a further three presumptive deaths recorded.
80 people were waiting for their test results to come back, while eight patients were listed as 'active cases'.
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