Christmas Covid numbers ‘could be low’

EARLY indications suggest that the number of Covid-19 cases attributable to Christmas get-togethers are low, the Chief Minister has said.

Chief Minister John Le Fondré. Picture: ROB CURRIE. (30020232)
Chief Minister John Le Fondré. Picture: ROB CURRIE. (30020232)

Senator John Le Fondré said he was ‘cautious but positive’ about Jersey’s current position in the battle against coronavirus and that latest analysis had shown that 15 of the positive cases reported in recent days were the result of Christmas gatherings and helped emphasise that Jersey was in ‘a completely different place’ to the UK.

‘I certainly wouldn’t want to be too jubilant, but we are going in the right direction for now,’ he said during a visit to St Martin’s School yesterday.

The Chief Minister said he was still awaiting data that could show whether any unauthorised New Year gatherings had caused any appreciable rise in the number of positive cases. The Island’s tally of known active cases fell by five to 283 yesterday, with five people currently in hospital.

One further death was recorded yesterday, taking the total number of deaths connected to coronavirus to 60, of which 28 have happened since the start of December.

Since the start of January there have been 256 new cases at an average of just under 20 per day. Senator Le Fondré said he had been encouraged to note that Jersey was maintaining high levels of testing while keeping a low positivity rate – this was 1.6% compared with the equivalent UK figure, which showed that around one in every ten tests led to a positive result.

In the UK it was announced yesterday that another 1,564 people had died within 28 days of a positive Covid test – the biggest figure reported in a single day since the pandemic began.

The total number of deaths in the UK has now reached 84,767.

In Jersey, the Covid-19 vaccination programme has continued, with Islanders aged 80 or over attending Fort Regent for their jabs.

The government has not released any figures regarding the total number of Islanders vaccinated since 5 January, when the total stood at 3,188.

It has been confirmed that an update is due be provided today, with regular weekly updates scheduled every Thursday as the rollout continues.

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