1. ITV Report

Thousands of test kits for Jersey delayed

5,000 kits promised by the Chief Minister in a statement earlier this week will not be here for another fortnight. Credit: ITV

Thousands of coronavirus test kits due in Jersey this week have been delayed.

The 5,000 kits are on their way from California, via the UK and Netherlands. The Government has since said that they are trying to speed up the deliveries by sending them in multiple batches.

The Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondré says he will not give an estimated date, because the timetable is not in his control.

I know that you, like me, will be very frustrated and disappointed that these tests have not already arrived. But I want to thank the officers who have been working hard with the supplier to make sure that Jersey remains a priority in the global supply chain.

– Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondré

In an earlier press conference, Medical Officer of Health Dr Ivan Muscat revealed a number of front line health workers are among those in the island to have tested positive for the virus, but said there hadn't been any outbreaks in care homes, unlike the one such 'cluster case' in Guernsey.

Dr Muscat also outlined plans for mass testing of the whole island population, with an order of 50,000 antibody tests from the UK are due to arrive in the middle of April. A further 100,000 are on order.

These tests will show whether somebody has already had coronavirus. Mobile testing stations will be deployed around the island to carry them out.

He explained the 'end game' of the crisis will be signalled when there is a drop in new cases testing positive for the virus, adding that it would require a sufficient level of immunity in the population as a whole - in other words that the majority of the island will have contracted coronavirus.

Dr Muscat confirmed the social distancing and lockdown policies, designed to slow the spread of the virus, were working as planned, and that it would not be until at least the middle of April before any decision on easing restrictions on the movement of people could be considered.

The "stay at home" policy is currently in place until the end of April.

  • WATCH Dr Ivan Muscat speak here...

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