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This is an unofficial and unverified transcript

This is a very rough and unverified transcript of the Isle of Man Government’s Coronavirus Media Briefing held on Wednesday 3 March 2021. In particular, for any legal guidance, you should seek advice from official sources.

You should not rely heavily upon it — it is transcribed by an automated speech recognition service, and I cannot guarantee its accuracy. Any local Manx words (especially in Gaelic) are more likely to be inaccurate. Also, the automated speech recognition service often converts proper nouns incorrectly (especially the spoken words “Isle of Man” to “Ireland” or “all of man”).

Before relying or quoting anything contained here, you should verify it against the underlying audio recorded here. Time Stamps and automatically-generated speaker names should help in the verification.

Howard Quayle 0:00
Well, good afternoon, everyone. And thank you for joining us today on day one of our circuit breaker lockdown. The Minister for Education, sport and culture is here in person. And the Minister for Health and social care and our Director of Public Health are joining us via zoom today. Let me start by handing over to minister Ashford for an update on testing numbers from the last 24 hours. We will come back for an update on vaccinations and other matters a bit later, David.

David Ashford 0:29
Thank you, Chief Minister. The total number of tests undertaken now stands at 33,703. The total number of tests concluded stands at 33,681. The total number of people awaiting a test is a test result is 22. And the total number of new COVID cases identified in the last 24 hours is 70. That means we currently have a total number of active cases of 7067 of those are in the community. Unfortunately, three of those cases are now in nobles hospital, although 70 active cases 14 are now from unknown source. Thank you, Chief Minister.

Howard Quayle 1:14
Thank you, David. And that’s a poignant reminder of how quickly this virus can spread. Thank you to everyone who was contacted 111. Now more than ever before, it is critical that if you show any COVID like symptoms that you call one warm and seek advice, we need to identify and isolate the virus as quickly as possible. I know that the 111 line has been swamped over the last 24 hours and has had some technical difficulties. We are working with Manx telecom to try to resolve this. In the meantime, please persevere. As you can imagine, the contact tracing team and 111 are dealing with a considerable volume of work at the moment. We already have approaching 300 households that we have directed to self isolate. And as we move through the contact tracing, there will undoubtedly be more. As you will be aware a number of pupils teaching and support staff how to theatreland schools have been asked to self isolate, and to wait to be contacted by 111. I would like to bring in minister Allison, at this point to say a few words. Alex,

Alex Allinson 2:24
thank you Chief Minister. Yesterday was difficult for many young people, as they say goodbye to their teachers and friends for the next three weeks. All our schools, nurseries, playgroups, child minders and UCM and are closed for the majority of our children. We did not take this decision lightly. Are Ireland is facing other assaults from COVID-19. But this time a mutation is made its spirit faster than before. The Act is why testing tracing and isolating cases is so important. We all have a role in this, but especially those individuals who have already tested positive. Since yesterday, more positive cases have been found in our school community. It’s in Ninian’s lower school, all of year seven and eight and identified staff are now self isolating, and are being contacted and traced. At balasana Primary School years three and four pupils and certain staff are in the same situation. I would like to thank all those people for doing the right thing for staying at home and being tested so that we can do our best to get on top of this situation as soon as possible. Today, vulnerable children and those of our essential workers were able to access their own school. 674 pupils turned up their primary school and 92 students went to their secondary schools. This compares in the first lockdown last year when 259 pupils turned up to primary and 40 went to the secondary school. Overnight regulations came into force to restricts movement, close premises and intervene in people’s lives again for the good of our community. It is vitally important that parents keep their children at home, it is the safest place for them. We know the capacity within our schools that we can safely maintain using physical distancing is restricted. Some of our schools are already close to that capacity. If we continue to be pressured to accept young people who could otherwise be studying from home, then this challenges our ability to safely deliver not only teaching in schools, but also remote learning. The criteria for essential workers is published on the government website and is quite clear. These are jobs critical to the COVID-19 response or one of the critical sectors listed. Given the present pressures and potential spread of the virus. We are asking every parent to think twice about whether you need to access one of these hub school places. We do not want to be in the position to have to turn people away but I will support All head teachers to make the right decision for their school. As we work through the next three weeks, we will continue to improve and develop the remote learning offering for pupils. We do not want parents to feel they have to become teachers. Please continue to be yourself, but try to encourage and motivate your child to engage with their teacher and work either online or at their desk. These next three weeks will be difficult for all of us. But by working together, we can get through this and emerge stronger as a nation. Several people have already asked me about the Easter holidays, the academic timetable and school holidays, they set out years in advance of the full consultation with teachers and their representatives. The aim is to split the school terms into manageable lengths for students. If any holiday is moved in time, then students would face an exceptionally long half term as a consequence, running into the summer. The timing school holidays is also shared with all government departments, and allows a large number of people to plan their holidays and work patterns around their families, and others to support their work colleagues. The Department for Education, sport and culture will review all ways we can support working families during these difficult times. As we emerge from this lockdown, we all need time to recover, to reflect and to heal. There are no current plans towards the school year. But we will be planning activities for young people throughout the holiday periods as we did last year. But now is the time to get our young people’s education back on track to continue their learning to recognise our shared concerns. And to look after our well being Now is the time to care for each other and support our students so that they can achieve their full potential and have the future they planned for. Thank you, Chief Minister.

Howard Quayle 6:47
And thank you very much, Alex,

Howard Quayle 6:49
your message to families is an important one. Home is the safest place at the moment. If you can keep your children at home, please do. So. Our swabbing team are already working at pace. And this is likely to increase significantly. As we move through the coming days, I need to prepare you for what we are likely to see in the coming days, the number of positives and the number of active cases will increase fast. This is certainly what we have seen elsewhere. If there is a silver lining to this black cloud, it is that cases that we are seeing now come from transmission in the past. The measures that we now have in place will help to prevent future transmission of the virus. But it will take time for us to see the impact of the circuit break in our daily numbers. The numbers will get worse before they get better, and maybe significantly more. I need people to be ready for this. And I do need to remind you that the measures we have in place will only work if everyone keeps to the rules. With everything you do. Please think about your island. This virus is a vicious and invisible, every slip up whether it is by accident or through someone thinking that the rules don’t apply to them can have massive effects. Please do the right thing. I would like to move on to our vaccination programme. As I said yesterday, once enough of our people, especially our most vulnerable are protected through vaccination, we should be able to make different decisions. The programme is working at pace, the team has pulled out all the stops and is working long hours. I know there has been a lot of comments about the need to move faster. I know there is a certain amount of frustration, but there is also a certain amount of misinformation. I will hand over to the Minister on this in a second. But I do just want to share a couple of the headlines statistics that have caught my attention. A first dose has now been given to everyone in our priority group one who was chosen and has been able to have a vaccination. This is residents and care homes and their carers. This is an important milestone, looking at things more broadly priority group too. So those who are aged 80 and over and frontline health and social care staff is now at 83% for first doses, and group three, those who are aged 75 and over is at 84%. Our recent focus has been in our group for which is those who are aged 70 and over and importantly, those who are clinically extremely vulnerable. I am pleased to see that this group is almost at 40% for first doses and increasing fast if we take all for the first priority groups together, so that is a cohort of almost 23,000 of our most vulnerable people. Almost 70% have now had a first dose and this is people who have had it not just been offered it I was briefed this morning, the team told me that on current planning, and if nothing disrupt disrupts that we are on track to have given a first dose to everyone in the first nine priority groups, so that everyone over 50 and every adult with underlying health issues around mid April, and every adult by the end of May. So still some way to go. But this is excellent progress. David, do you want to add to this? I know you’ve also want to pick up on some issues around booking vaccines. David?

David Ashford 10:32
Yes, thank you, Chief Minister, I most certainly do wish to add to it just to say that the vaccination programme is on track, as the chief minister has just said, we are on course with the over 50s on the vulnerable groups for them to be vaccinated by mid May, for first dose and everyone else on the adult population will have their first dose by the end of May. That is exactly in line with the situation in the UK. And we should finish both our phase one which is the 50s and the vulnerables. At the same time as the UK in mid April, and also the wider adult population at the same time as the UK as well. So the processes are working well, the clinicians views is that it’s clinically safe, as the chief minister said we’re halfway through good four, which actually is on the timescale that we laid out at the very start of this vaccination programme. Were moving to double volume on Monday due to increased vaccine supplies. So people will see the figures being roughly around about 1000 vaccinations a day, the over 65 letters have now started going out as well. And those with underlying health conditions, their letters will be starting to be dispatched late next week. In relation to the vaccination programme as a whole when people go to boot vaccines, the process is that people will receive an invite letter, they will then bring 111 at that point 111 will register them and say that they will bring them back with an appointment. That is the normal process for booking that is not a reason for anyone to be concerned. One more one will bring back and then arrange and confirm a time for booking of both first and second dose. One of the other issues I wish to speak about if I may, Chief Minister, is I know there’s been quite a bit of reaction on social media to the answer to a written timbul question yesterday around vaccine wastage. So it’s not actually the case, the way it’s being reported on social media. It’s not wholly accurate the way some of that reporting seems to have gone out and the context seems to have been lost as well. So as I say this came from a written answer to Tim will just stay around the level of vaccine wastage, we have to be clear there will always be in any vaccination programme, a level of vaccine waste for various reasons, such as half doses left in vials, mixing processes etc. but also once a multi dose vial has been opened, it has a relatively short shelf life. In fact, the best way to minimise wastage is to have a mass vaccination horse which is exactly what we have done. You will never with any vaccination process have zero wastage that just is not physically possible.

David Ashford 13:15
It is also the case of course, that after that, at the end of the day due to no shows there may be a vaccine left. To be clear, we already have a list of people in the vaccination categories being drawn at any one time that we can bring forward at short notice to be vaccinated, and this does happen daily. Each day we have a list of 10 people who can be called on short notice to be vaccinated who are within the vaccination categories we are already been doing. But there will always be days where for whatever reason, there is a very small level of wastage. I actually think context is always very important. The waste being referred to in context is 0.15% of vaccines delivered to people that’s less than one vaccine every two to three days. That is much lower than any other jurisdictions wastage that I can find and also substantially better than most normal vaccination programmes. Five so for instance comes in files are five doses, and AstraZeneca in vials of eight to 10 doses. The World Health Organisation states that standard wastage rates per 10 dose files it that estimates are around 15 to 25% in an immunisation programme. To give further context, the estimated annual wastage country saved from the annual flu vaccination programme is normally anywhere between one to 6%. The World Health Organisation estimates that average vaccine wastage which regards is normal is around about 5%. The Canadian province of Alberta is a good case in point is being held up and hailed as an example of how waste can be minimised by using hopes and having standby lists to avoid waste from low shows. Their reported waste is 0.3%. Ours is half of that at 0.15. So it’s not quite the pictures on social media have been trying to paint. The staff involved in the vaccination programme have worked exceptionally hard to minimise waste. And I think they’re doing an excellent job and want to thank them for that. Another topic I want to very briefly touch on is in relation to key workers and the vaccination. I know that a lot of key workers are very keen to have the vaccination, and they want to have it as quickly as possible. I do need to emphasise again, though, that we work to the jcvi priority list, as this place is the vaccination schedule in order to not have someone’s likelihood of contract and COVID-19. But the likelihood of that person having serious or life threatening medical episodes for the virus, if we start moving around the schedule, and prioritising different groups of key workers, that it will leave large amounts of the most vulnerable or unprotected for longer. The vaccine deliveries are spaced out. They’re not even every week, as the manufacturers produce the vaccine and ship it in. And it is important that all of our early orders, and our priority for these doses we have now are those that are most at risk at home, should they contract COVID-19 that is where our priorities are. And that is where I believe our priorities should be. So I know that people in different groups are keen to have the vaccine, but the priority for the programme must be those know that not that are likely to contract COVID due to their work environment. But those that if they do contract COVID will have serious repercussions as a result. Thank you, Chief Minister.

Howard Quayle 16:51
Thank you, David, very much for that very important update. I think it was very important to clarify an awful lot of misinformation that is sadly flying around this island at the moment. And before I go to questions from the media, I would like to say a word about accurate information. I know that social media can be an important way for people to stay in touch with loved ones, but it can always be a way for inaccurate information to spread. We all know that there is nothing more powerful than the Manx rumour mill. Please think carefully before you share information. Think about whether the source is reliable. Think about whether you are you might be sharing what you might be sharing might harm others. We know that the one of the things that really that’s really important to people is getting the right information at the right time. Government will always do what it can to get information out as quickly as possible. One tool that we are increasingly using as well as traditional and social media is a system called everbridge. It is our mass notification system. It’s easy to sign up and it allows government to alert you quickly and easily about important or urgent information. To sign up search for Isle of Man emergency planning, or go to gov.im forward slash stay connected, and then click on the link to sign up. If you are watching this online, there should be a link at the bottom of the screen. Or keep your rising government social media channels where we will be sharing details on how to sign up. I will pause now for the moment. Let’s go to questions from the media. And first today we have is Alex Bell from BBC Isle of Man. Good afternoon, Alex faster.

Alex Bell 18:40
My afternoon cheaper this to you speak today with a pessimism that I’ve not heard from you in the best part of the year. Really? Why do you expect the outbreak to grow so much further and more devastatingly this time? And do you believe it’s anything to do with the action coming too late?

Howard Quayle 18:58
No. First and foremost, I’ve looked to see what’s happened in Jersey and Guernsey who have sadly been through this process ahead of us where I think jersey peaked at just under 1000 cases active cases at the time jersey and Guernsey at about 400 active cases. We’re obviously dealing with a new variant. We’ve seen a number of cases since last night that have come in, which has been a significant increase. This is not something that we’ve we’ve had in the past now, when we agreed to lock the island down. We we move pretty quick. I think we we told you what was happening yesterday, we shut down this morning. And I think we’ve been if you look at when we’ve shut down before it’s been exactly the same times we have obviously waited for the data to show that we do have a problem because if we locked down and it was a false call, then we would have had a severe criticism from the public that we’d gone into a locker without all the correct data, so, you know, we listen to the advice that we get. We’ve called it as quickly as possible. There’s been no change in from previous lockdowns and the speed with which we’ve done it, it’s just, it would appear that the new variant does move quicker. And therefore, we are expecting to see more cases. But we have, I’m not being pessimistic, I’m just trying to prepare people that instead of being told that there’s been an extra two, three cases, maybe overnight, we could be looking at a six significant number, what I’ve seen in the past is you get a spike over a week, and then it comes down, and you get on top of it. And that’s what I expect to happen. But I’m just trying to set the scene that if people see increases of 2030, in a day, that is not to be unexpected. So I’m just trying to prepare people so that we don’t have a panic going forward. I believe. FM David Orr, Doctor, you’re what you want to add to that.

David Ashford 20:57
Yeah, if I if I made Chief Minister, I thought, you know, I think the point is Alex, again, that word I’ve always used for anyone doing work, bingo, cautiousness, we need to actually we need to be very cautious about this. And I think it’s important to get the message out to the public, that you know, that this is this is a serious matter, the government is taking it seriously. That’s why we brought in the measures, announced in the figures there before that we’ve now gone to 14 cases of one identified source, certainly to me, and I’ll bring the Director of Public Health in a minute just in case she’s like different view. But much, certainly, to me, that suggests that there’s potentially multiple chains of transmission somewhere under the surface. And as a result of that, we do have to brace ourselves over the next few days, as the chief minister said, For the next week, we probably will be seeing increased case numbers.

Henrietta Ewart 21:45
And you can come in there just to say that that’s absolutely right. We’ve got widespread transmission now across the community. And we also have to just remind ourselves of the incubation period of COVID, which is 14 days. So even if everybody locked themselves down, absolutely stayed at home, nothing else from now on, there would be a number of people in that situation who are already incubating and will go on to develop COVID over the next 14 days, which is the incubation period. So we’ll expect to see new cases resulting from pre circuit breaker transmission, up to an including 14 days, the peak for that should be around 567 days, given the average length of time for new cases to appear during the incubation period. And if we also remember the are number in populations where there are no mitigations. So again, that’s pre our circuit breaker, that’s likely to be around 3.5 for canonbury, which is what we’ve got. So if we think even about the known cases, potentially having infected three and a half other people, some of those will already have been isolated because they were high risk contacts. But the ones that weren’t and we’re out and about, they will have, you know, seeded further cases of transmission that will be waiting to see over the next two weeks, but mostly over the next week. So we will see we’re not at the top of the peak yet is the answer to that we will have a way to go before we get there and start to see the cases dropping off. Thank you.

Howard Quayle 23:29
Thank you. Thank you. If you look at the timescale, Alex, on Monday morning of this week, we only had four cases that were unexplained, we thought by Monday lunchtime, that two of those cases could be related to a previous outbreak, and therefore there was no cause for concern at that time, because we’d gone in and we’ve done a high series of testing of those high risk cases that come back as negative. However, by Monday evening, we then got another two cases which could not be explained. And we instantly put out our press release, called a meeting first thing on Tuesday, locked down here we are today. So that’s pretty quick. I don’t see any, any delays there. We’ve gone in pretty fast as as is always something that we do. So your next question, Alex.

Unknown Speaker 24:15
So yeah, just

Alex Bell 24:16
to clarify on that point, I guess you say when there are cases, which are of unexplained provenance, have you been able to identify a chain of transmission parallel to the steam packet cluster? And if not, does that make it more likely that indeed, this community outbreak does relate to it in some way?

Howard Quayle 24:37
We haven’t been able to tie back these latest cases to the initial steam packet case, it could well be that like, the second lock broke, we had two separate problems were where we’d had leakage of the virus into the community. At this moment in time we cannot say I don’t know Dr. You if you want to expand on that.

Henrietta Ewart 24:59
And Chief Minister Yes, in terms of analysing clusters and outbreaks, we’re always interested in persons times and places. And with the 14 unexplained cases, we cannot, at the moment find any links between the person’s either those 14 cases, or those in the known cluster, or the places the places are becoming more widely spread. But we can in terms of time, and the timing certainly indicates that it’s spread from that original cluster, but through missing links, people who, for whatever reason, didn’t get picked up or did get picked up and haven’t followed their, you know, the guidance they’ve been given to self isolation. And we’ll probably never know the actual explanations for all of that, for

Unknown Speaker 25:47
absolute clarity there.

Alex Bell 25:48
And who are you fairly confident that this community outbreak is perhaps in some way linked to the steam packet cluster?

Unknown Speaker 25:56

Henrietta Ewart 25:57
that would certainly have to be our working hypothesis until we have any reason not to think about, it doesn’t seem to link in time to any other events, such as other travellers come across the border. Again, we can’t always be absolutely sure about that, because not all travellers opt for the testing programme. So there will be some travellers who do not know what status they were at any point, or indeed whether or not they breached self isolation. But on the evidence we have and the timings that we have, the hypothesis would still be that it’s related to the steam packet outbreak.

Howard Quayle 26:35
Thank you very much, Alex. Next, we’ll move on to Simon Richardson from business 365. Good afternoon, Simon faster. My

Simon Richardson 26:42
afternoon, Chief Minister, my first question is for the health minister, if I may. Minister, in regard to the people who’ve been admitted to nobles hospital, is it possible at this stage to give an update on their condition, if they’re giving any cause for concern? Also, you’ve alluded in a recent briefing to the pressures on the hospital from normal winter ailments. What would happen and I stress this is very much the doomsday scenario. If nobles hospital became overrun with new COVID cases, is there an arrangement in place with any UK Hospital, NHS or private for Isle of Man patients to be treated over there if necessary?

David Ashford 27:28
Yeah, so in relation to that question, Simon, we do have arrangements with UK hospitals we have done throughout the pandemic period, those arrangements remain in place, but we do have to recognise the UK is under its own pressures. And its hospitals. Although it’s been easy in the UK, there’s still a very high level. So one of the things we’ve always done throughout this entire period is try and build resilience. So we aren’t reliant on the UK. So there are various things we could do, we can expand as we did in the last outbreak last year, we can expand ICU, we can double our ICU capacity if necessary. By taking over one of the operating theatres there, we can convert wards to COVID wards, and to deal with that. So that is resilience planning in place all the plans that were explained to people last year, and all the things that hospital that time, we can do again. And in fact, it’s never enough exactly the same time of year, as was last year. So we were facing exactly the same challenges that we did, then as a health service. In relation to the three and nobles, I don’t receive individual updates on their conditions, because I’m personally not entitled to that that’s medically private. I’m only normally told if there is a serious issue with one of them. And I’m happy to advise at the moment I have not been told of any serious issue with the three patients. So I would read into that the three are in hospital are currently what I would term stable.

Simon Richardson 28:55
Thank you. And secondly, for Dr. us please do with 14 people now receiving the virus from unknown sources. And is it your view that this is going to be a much more difficult outbreak to control than the previous ones that we’ve had to deal with?

Henrietta Ewart 29:13
it, sir, certainly going to be more difficult than the Christmas and New Year ones which we managed to keep completely contained. And I think again, drawing on a parallel with Guernsey, they have very strong track and trace and containment measures very, very similar to ours. And six weeks in and they still haven’t completely closed down sporadic community cases, although hopefully they’re getting very close to that point. So I think you know, we do have to say we may, by chance do better than Guernsey but on the other hand, we may not.

Simon Richardson 29:46
There’s the potential for those strains to include, obviously, the Kent variation, the Brazilian and South African strains as well.

Henrietta Ewart 29:55
If we start finding other strains, whether other UK strains or the In South Africa, you’ve mentioned, then clearly, they’re not all linked to one event, there will be other seeding events. Again, we would always hope to catch those imported cases as they come across the border. It’s obviously easiest where the person has opted for testing, because then we know as soon as they test positive, that they’re positive and the barrier that they’ve got. But as I said before, those that opt not to be tested, we don’t know whether or not they had it, we would only know that subsequently if it popped up in the community. But by that stage, we wouldn’t be able to link it back to a specific travel event. So you know, those things we will have to deal with. If they happen, please God, they won’t.

Unknown Speaker 30:45
Thank you.

Howard Quayle 30:47
Thank you very much, Simon. Now we move on to Sam Turton from Jeff. Good afternoon, Sam faster, my

Unknown Speaker 30:54
customer Chief Minister, lastly, health education. And so he said two more cases linked to the school’s jammy cases these are which schools are they linked to? And in terms of Burma, Hague, why there’s only three years in that school, why was the whole school not too isolated. So there’s just these two years,

Alex Allinson 31:13
I’ve been turning to them by my head first, when we first became aware of a symptomatic case, in one of the pupils there that year, your entire year group was put into self isolation with with their families, what the track and trace team of them been doing is working outwards, figuring out exactly who they mixed with. And so we’ve then had to expand that both for in terms of year seven, and year eight. When we went in first, we went in fairly aggressively in terms of trying to control the spread. But through the contact tracing, it certainly became apparent that has spread wider. And so we’ve had to contain those two year groups, which are quite a substantial number of children, you’re talking about 222 in year seven, and 176 in year eight, so we don’t close down those people’s lives likely. But we did it on the right data. And on the right clinical advice. In terms of the other schools at the moment. As I said, I’m Ben Hague is affected. Bella Salah is also affected with some symptomatic cases there. I’ve talked to both head teachers and those young people, although they’ve gotten some mild symptoms or doing otherwise quite well. But the work now is trying to trace exactly who they’ve been in contact with. And certainly with Bella Salah, we ended up closing down the whole school, because number of staff were also felt to be at risk. With closing Bella Salah, we’d haven’t moved any children to any of the other schools, we managed to contain it there, including for those children of key workers, which was seen as a very important aspect of this prevention of spread. And I’d really like to thank all those staff members and all those parents for being so responsible in terms of responding to this threat to our community.

Unknown Speaker 33:02
So just you have a number for how many cases are in the schools? If not, could you guess somebody said that? That was always

Alex Allinson 33:08
certainly I mean, what we’re doing at the moment is trying to compile that data, the track and trace system, and the staff there have been working around the clock, we’re talking about doing contact tracing or hundreds of people to get these cases on what may start off as one or two positive cases can suddenly mushroom as the chief minister has commented, which is why we’re taking it extremely seriously, in this occasion to come down really quite aggressively to control the spread of this virus.

Unknown Speaker 33:37
Thank you. And then just secondly, prior to helping us that we have people saying to us about the booking for vaccine system, they obviously they’re calling and they’re being on hold for a long time, and then they’re getting the call back. Why have we not moved to similars how jersey and England have done it with an online booking system, I prefer seeing the code and then they can go online and pick an available slot and book it themselves.

David Ashford 33:59
What we do, Sam is we release slots as and when we know we’ve got vaccine supply coming. We believe that the 111 system is the most efficient way to do it. I know that 111 had issues in the data with technical issues with it, which we’ve been working with banks telecom to resolve. And in terms of 111 of the other pressures, of course they’ve had is they have also been doing the testing for those which we’ve just spoken about in schools. They’ve had a high volume of people they’ve been arranging tests for as well. But I would say to people is pleased bear with one on one. If you continue to run you will get through and you will get booked in but I think the way we do it is a very efficient way and shoe is a completed properly. There’s no confusion and that people can get an appropriate slot.

Unknown Speaker 34:46
But as more people get onto the vaccine less later in the year particularly more young people does not make sense to look at increasing use of technology. We are

David Ashford 34:54
looking at us so sorry. I should have stated that we are looking at it. But I do think The current time with the cohorts that were dealing with the 111 system is the most efficient and effective way to do that. There will always be times of peaks. And yesterday, I think for quite obvious reasons that people will understand one more, one had a very, very high peak of calls, but they are very efficient team, we’ve put additional manpower into that team as well within Cabinet Office and one more one, so people will be able to get through if they persevere. And also we’ve had a whole new set of cohort letters go out, which I believe about one a half 1000 letters. And one of the good signs I think, is the fact that it appears there’s a high take off of people wanting the vaccine. So that’s actually a good thing.

Howard Quayle 35:41
Thanks very much, Sam. Now we move on to Paul Moulton from Isle of Man television. Good afternoon, Paul foster my

Paul Moulton 35:48
good afternoon for Mr. Ashford and back to these vaccines and the the the balls that were left over. You can give us all that sort of science about other countries and how much is left over. But let’s just get down to real business here. This is the Isle of Man 15 people right now could have had that first dose. And even if you had to go out onto the streets, you would have could have been your handle to have that have you put procedures in place. So it can’t happen again,

David Ashford 36:15
Paul, there will always be vaccine waste. I’m not going to sit here and lie to people in any vaccination programme, there will always be vaccine waste. I just laid out how it works. I mean, like I say, the World Health Organisation. And this is in jurisdiction small and large polls not talking just large countries, I use the Canada example because they’re being hailed for the way they’ve dealt with waste. And what you will always end up with it. You can’t just pick people up off the street, we’ve got to have a clinical process, we’ve got to know people’s medical history to know whether the vaccine is suitable for them. We have a call list to allow people to come forward. So people who are already registered already have a slot, they have indicated to 111, they can be called at short notice. And we call that down. So like I say I think context is important because the way it was going on social media was if we had all these vaccines being wasted, left, right and centre, it is the equivalent of one dose roughly every three days in the vaccine programme if you actually work it out 0.15%, an ordinary vaccine programme would see waste of roughly around about 5%. So I think the work the team has done to actually pull people forward and fill slots, I actually think is astronomical, because they’ve been able to box the trend that you would normally see with vaccination programmes. Okay? Is it

Paul Moulton 37:36
because people aren’t turning up or you are getting that extra dosage out? And you don’t know that until you that? You’ve got that last bit leftover? Which I think people understand that one? Or has there been quite a failure on people turning up or not not wanting to go ahead or something?

David Ashford 37:48
Yeah, for various reasons, you will always end up with no shows people who are ill. You even get people and sometimes we’ll forget appointments. And so there will always be no shows and wherever possible. Like I said, we’ve got this call as we go to an art was included in the timbul dancer but seems to have been missed off the piece that several people have put out on social media. And we do have that call is to go to we call people up and we’ve been filling the slots. If we haven’t been doing that the wastage would be an awful lot higher than what we’re saying. But like I say context is important. It’s 0.15% of the actual vaccines delivered into people’s arms, you know appear in a fin the flu jab period, you would expect to see between one and 6% wastage is what the World Health Organisation says in those sorts of immunisation programmes. And Alberta in Canada, which is being held up as a shining star as to why you use mass vaccination hubs to push people through because you get a quicker throughput and less waste is rare is recording 0.3%. They’re being hailed for their vaccine waste, or vaccine waste is half of theirs.

Paul Moulton 38:56
Can you put me on the list by the way you can ring me at any time.

David Ashford 38:58
And let me reach your age report. And you’ve got your invite letter. If you let one one know at the time of booking, that you are available to be called at short notice then they will put you on the list.

Paul Moulton 39:09
fantastic to see. You talk about social media and the hairs that are running. And clearly these press conferences are the point of contact each day. But there’s two things here either you move to a format that actually will work better to questions maybe not enough. We in Guernsey when they do press conferences, they just ask questions until they finish like we did. We started this that way. So you’re restricting us now in itself. And we both I think all journalists get lots of questions from the public. I do and I’m sure others do. So there’s that but also could you not put somebody onto social media, their job is to stop these rumours before they get out of hand.

Howard Quayle 39:45
Well, we do put messages out to people. Let me let let’s go back to your first question, Paul about wastage. It seems absolutely bizarre to me that we have one of the best records in the world, if not the best in the world. When it comes to wasted, and we’ve still got people trying to sensationalise and say that we’re throwing away vials it. It beggars belief that people could twist this sort of story into something as serious as and then it goes around social media that the man is throwing away loads of vials. It’s so disappointing. And that’s why we’re asking people to say, Look, don’t go spreading stuff. If you don’t know that to be true, that then don’t go, you know, saying it’s the the number of questions that we give to all the media. I’ve had an awful lot of people say that the minute it goes to questions, they switch off that they’ve had enough. You may not like that, but that’s the feedback I get. So we think if you’re the at the end of a media briefing, and seven of your colleagues have asked 14 questions, then you’re gonna really struggle to think of a sensible question that’s factually correct. And then you’re not going online and saying, well, Joe Bloggs has said this and Joe Bloggs is factually incorrect. I mean, the other day, we had a one of the media saying that 75% only 75% attendance at a primary school and appeal. So I went away and checked it was 96% attendance, the facts were totally wrong. So we have to I think 16 questions is more than adequate for you to get the the frequently asked questions that people need to say, but you’re quite right. If there is a way of getting out frequently asked questions out to the media, then that’s what we try and do with our social media. And we do believe that our website, we have frequently asked questions and the answers for people to go online and have a look at but it’s been really disappointing that people should try and spin that the government and our hard working team who are doing an outstanding job with the vaccination programme are wasting vials when they’ve got one of the best records in the world. So bit bizarre, Paul.

Paul Moulton 41:54
Okay. But I disagree that I think lots of people do listen to the questions because it’s their questions that most of us are asking. So you’ll hear one thing but it This is such an important point of contact for most people to have reassurance from you. Because let’s face it, we’re not in the right place at the moment. And the Guernsey model shows that we are going to go up for some time, as you said already, which could lead to a much longer lockdown in three weeks.

Howard Quayle 42:16
Absolutely. And that’s why we’ve had press briefings Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Paul, to answer these questions. But equally, you know that they we are trying to communicate as best as we can with the public. And it’s not just the question time that we do, we’re regularly going out and doing press releases to let the people know of various situations in between the conferences. And equally I know some people get press briefing doubt. They don’t want them every day. They just want to, you know when we’ve got something big to say that they want in the conferences, but I’d like to bring David in who I think wants to add to that.

David Ashford 42:56
Yeah, thank you very much, Chief Minister. And, you know, it’s not just the press briefings where we engage with the media and the wider public. I hope you’d accept all that. For instance, I myself do quite a long form interview with you once a week. We did that. Was it a distract days? I think it was yesterday. We did it. Yesterday afternoon. And we’re due to do another one on Sunday where there’s multiple questions asked, you can drill down into information. When we were when we started to see problems the other night. I immediately went live on to Manx radio update, and then did a longer form interview for Manx radio. So as a government, we are going out there we are communicating in different ways. So press briefing format isn’t the only way to get questions asked and questions answered. I think you know, we have other ways of engaging. We do that. And hopefully we’ll accept or you know, I’m never afraid to go in and asking quit answering questions. We did a session yesterday. We’ll do another session on Sunday.

Paul Moulton 43:53
Maybe David? Yes. I’ll see you Sunday. Thanks so much.

Howard Quayle 43:55
Thanks very much, Paul. Now we move on to Helen McKenna of Alamin. newspapers. Good afternoon, Helen Foster. My

Leanne Cook 44:02
Good afternoon, Chief Minister, do you hope everyone’s still listening at this point? And so first of all, my question is for the Education Minister. A lot of parents of pupils from MC grammar school have been asking why the year eight netball and football matches on Monday afternoons. This is obviously between certainly in high school as well weren’t cancelled as testing was most most likely already underway.

Alex Allinson 44:33
The sort of decisions the very operational decisions are very much up to the head teachers, which I support absolutely, you know, to the hilt, obviously the head teacher at the time, but as we were having very much a developing situation, their assessment was that the risk was relatively low. And again, we know that that outdoor events are relatively low risk in terms of spread of the virus, and particularly when you’ve got good ventilation as well like like, like a hockey hockey pitch, I’m looking back, could that have been cancelled? It could have been but at the time, again on Monday, we had a very much a developing situation in particularly in terms of schools. And so that wasn’t seen as a particularly high risk. And so that decision was made. The decisions have been made this week, particularly Ramsey grammar in terms of cancelling another range of events, because we’ve now brought in quite strict restrictions, and those have now been passed through legislation.

Leanne Cook 45:32
As a follow up start, obviously, there’s a lot of anger from from parents, I serve for netball teams and two football teams, there’s quite a lot of children. So have you been reiterating to parents that the that you’re doing all you can?

Alex Allinson 45:46
Well, I am now, I must say I live in remzi. And none of the parents that I know have complained to me personally, but I take on board their concerns, and we are dealing with a particularly infectious strain of Coronavirus. We will do everything possible to keep our students safe. And just to reiterate the message to parents, from now on, the best way of keeping your children safe is to keep them at home. That is the way we’re going to break the transmission tray trade off this. But what the contact trace team are doing is looking at all these events, looking at all the people who have now been found to be positive, and working back to give that reassurance to people.

Howard Quayle 46:24
If I can just put this into perspective, Helen, just to add to this, it was only on Monday evening that we knew we had a problem. Before then we’d had a situation that we thought there was links to a previous outbreak. And that isn’t as serious as having cases that are on that we don’t know where they’ve come from. We only found that out on Monday evening. To be fair to the school. There was a major rugby tournament on Tuesday morning, and that was cancelled instantly. So you can only react to be fair to the school when you’ve got the date on the Council of Ministers didn’t have the data, showing that there was a serious problem until Monday evening, and we reacted straightaway shut everything down. The NSC was short the following morning. And as I say this big rugby tournament, which was interschool was also cancelled. So I’m just trying to defend Ramsey grammar school here that they didn’t have the advice that there was a major problem at the time it went ahead. Okay, thank

Leanne Cook 47:22
you. My second question is for the health minister, can you say exactly how many clinically vulnerable people and those aged between 70 to 75 have been vaccinated so far, it was mentioned earlier that it was 40%. And but some people in the priority group four haven’t actually received letters yet. But people aged between 65 to 69 have

David Ashford 47:48
Yes, the final group of letters has actually gone out to the over 70s. And in the priority group, they those final set of letters went earlier this week. At the same time, we always run the cohorts overlapping. So people will now have been receiving letters for the group below, which is age 65 to 69. And they do overlap because we need to keep the cherno for people registering because as our vaccination orders, particularly in March, and take off, and we get more deliveries into the island. As I mentioned in my remarks earlier, we’ll be vaccinating up to 1000 people a day. So we’ve got to keep that volume of number going. We can’t just wait for one cohort, the UK tried that shorting initially, they’ve changed position now good sending out letters to one cohort and then stopping. If you do that, you then end up with a slowdown in the vaccination as well. And potentially a gap while you call others. If you bear with me one moment, I’ll tell you exactly what the actual figure is in that group. But you can’t like to say you can’t just, you can’t just actually slow down because otherwise you’ll come to a stop. And unfortunately, I can’t get the dashboard up at the moment because I’m actually on this call at the moment. So it won’t come up for me without me disconnecting. But off the top of my head. I think it’s 40. If it’s about 40% of cohort, I think come close to 50% that have been done, then it will be roughly around about it will be roughly around about 2000 people about 1700 or so I would have thought

Howard Quayle 49:25
Thank you. Just before we finish on that, Helen, if I could sort of put this into context regarding vaccinations. Now I know if you’re waiting and you you have a health issue, you’re waiting to be vaccinated irrespective of your age, I can understand your concern that you want to get that job as quickly as possible to to start the process of your your body building of the antibodies to protect yourself from serious issues. But if you if you park Israel, which is probably the best performing country in the world, the United Kingdom is the second or third in the world for rolling out the vaccine. way ahead of all of Europe. And by the end of this month, we will be on par and on track with the same percentage of doses delivered as the United Kingdom. So it puts us I think the health minister says in the top 10 5% of countries in the world for the speed with which we’re getting the vaccine to our people. So as I say, I understand the concern of people wanting it as quickly as possible. We are doing our very best and and our best is, is pretty impressive compared with the rest of the world. But I think the Health Minister may now have the finger so I’ll bring him back in.

David Ashford 50:33
Yeah, sorry, Chief Minister, trying to juggle two sets of technology staying on lesson that you bring the fingers up at the same time. So how am I can give you the figures in relation to first doses within this category. There’s been 2993 administered with 24 second doses administered as well.

Unknown Speaker 50:51
Thank you very much.

Howard Quayle 50:52
Thanks very much, Helen. Next, we have is Josh Stokes from ITV. Granada. Good afternoon, Josh Foster, my

Josh Stokes 50:58
afternoon, Chief Minister, the general feeling amongst people both on the island and further afield at the moment is how how is the Isle of Man allowed the virus to once again spread after having such stringent measures. And being in the fortunate COVID free position it found itself in the EU say the government acted as quickly as possible. So was this locked down in the end inevitable?

Howard Quayle 51:21
Well, we’ve always said that there may well be chances going forward that that we may need to bring in a lockdown. We’ve had to do it. Sadly, no one wanted to do but the minute we realised that the issue was starting, we went in quickly. As I say, if you we went in we were on four on Monday morning, the minute we went up to six bang, we were degree locked out. We had everything in place, we announced it first thing on Tuesday, we’re in lockdown. Now that’s pretty quick. I don’t think you’ll get to many jurisdictions that can do that. When you allow people to move onto the island, you are always going to have the possibility that there will be an outbreak unless we say right no freight onto the island, whether that plane or, or, or say no people can go off the island or come on to the island. Until unless you do that there’s no way that you can keep this virus out, you reduce the risk significantly by all the measures you put in place. But sadly, as we’ve seen, something’s gone wrong. And we’re in the situation something went wrong. At the end of December, something went wrong at the beginning of January, we were lucky with the one at the end of December. Sadly, the January one had gone further afield, we needed to do a circuit break, we quickly came out of that we’ve had a month. And sadly, we’ve had another situation now as I say if this was to happen in a month or so it’s time when we’ve significantly increased the number of vaccines to the people, we might then be able to make a different decision on what we’re going to do. But just at this moment in time, unless you’ve totally locked the island down and allow nothing to happen, which we can’t do because we we need consultants to come over and check on our our vulnerable people that nobles hospital to provide a service we need certain machinery, whether it be the power station or the incinerator, these sort of things to happen, where we’re and free to come in food to come in. With all that having to happen, we can never say we will never eradicate COVID-19 on the Isle of Man where we’re coming up to the anniversary of the outbreak of COVID on the island. And if you look at the last 12 months, the Isle of Man has been business as usual for nearly eight out of those 12 months. That’s not bad. You know, there’s not very many places in the world where they can boast that as a record. Now we have this problem. Now we’ve gone in quick again, we expect to see a significant rise a peak over the coming week. And then hopefully, we will get it back under control. And we can move forward again. But we’re just trying to be as honest, straight with people giving them the facts. And that’s the best we can do.

Josh Stokes 53:56
And you said the numbers will get worse before they get better. And they could greatly increase. So you’re able to put any sort of prediction on where we could see these numbers go given the current rate and the current spread. And given the rate is climbing now. And are you preparing to see more active cases in the islands first way back in March, April last year, and what precautions are you already putting in place for that?

Howard Quayle 54:16
Right. Well, really it’s sort of taking a guess I don’t know Dr. You if there’s anything you can add on to where you expect, given the numbers that we’ve had so far, whether you can see this going. It’s hard to put a finger on it. We are looking at the experiences that Guernsey had, were very similar to Guernsey on how we react they peaked at 300 need about 400 active cases in their latest lockdown, which they’re still not come out of. So because we have similar geography and we’ve been following very similar rules. If you could expect that that may well be the case but we can’t give an exact science. I’m just trying to prepare people that you are going to see an increase before it gets better when you see a star Have a spike, you have to go through that spike or curve before you go back to better more control figures doctor, you it.

Henrietta Ewart 55:09
Thank you, Chief Minister, yes, these things are pretty well impossible to model on a population of our scale. And even on large populations, the models are the one thing you can know always is going to be the case is the model is going to be roll. And if we think of, you know, the models that have been talked about in the news in the UK, they have always proven to be wrong. And the same is the case for us. Simply because there are so many multiple variables that in variables that impact that the most you can say is it may be a number between this and that smaller your population. And the more your assumptions, the wider that range is. So it’s really not desperately useful to try and call where within that range, you think you’re going to be, because you’ll inevitably be wrong. I talked earlier today about the our number with no mitigations, which is kind of where we were until one minute past midnight this morning. So people who were infected and out and about will likely have infected around three and a half other people. But even that doesn’t hold because that’s the average. And in reality, depending on a whole host of factors that we don’t fully understand, that relate both to the infected individual and the people they come in contact with, is quite possible for an infected person to either in fact, nobody else or to be a super spreader. And in fact, a large number of other people. And again, we’ve no way of gauging whether all our cases that were out and about will be down the lower end of that, or whether we’ll be unlucky and find we’ve had a bunch of super spreaders, we just won’t know until we work through the next 14 days. And as I said before, the kind of hopeful factor in this is that a lot of our cases, were already high risk contacts, and we’re self isolating. So they shouldn’t have infected the general public. Although as we’ve said before, you know, your highest risk is your household members. So any of those who are self isolating in a household, there is a risk of secondary transmission within that household. But then again, because they were self isolating, that shouldn’t be going any further. So you can really see from what I’m saying that there are so many variables and so many assumptions that we would have to make to model it. That really, it’s not useful. And we’re just going to have to be prepared for what we see over the next two weeks, and particularly over the coming week. Thank you.

Josh Stokes 57:44
Okay, just following on from that for the chief minister, that for that preparation, what kind of preparations are being put in place now, if the numbers do increase further than we’ve seen ever here on the Isle of Man during this pandemic?

Howard Quayle 57:55
Well, obviously all the teams whether that be at nobles hospital, the track and trace team, that 111 Centre, they are all being looked looked at to see all the ways that we can ramp up the support that we’re giving these areas. Obviously, we had all the plans in place way back. In March, we have Ward 20 at nobles hospital, which was kitted out for a number of beds we brought in our own oxygen supply, we are far more experienced, and we know what’s happening. And we can handle bigger numbers because we’re in a much better position where we have more knowledge of how to handle this and what works and what doesn’t work. So obviously our gold team are meeting with their colleagues to discuss scenarios where we may have to ramp up our our teams that deal with with either the tracking tracing or the or the phone calls that’s in place already, Josh, so I just like to reassure people, hopefully it’s not going to come to that. But you have to prepare for the worst case scenario which we have gone for for quite some time now. Thanks very much. Now we move on to Leanne cook from three FM Good afternoon lamb faster my

Leanne Cook 59:03
Good afternoon, my first question and yes sevens in The Hague, those they live with year three and four ballasts, our primary school and some teaching stuff there have all been instructed to self isolate and a weak contact from the 111 service. My question is just looking for clarification for that contact and wondering how long should people expect to hear back from the woman one service? Will everyone be contacted? And thirdly, if people aren’t contacted, what what should they do if they aren’t contacted at all?

Alex Allinson 59:36
Thank you very much for that question. In terms of the the advice we’ve given, and again, as the chief minister said to sometimes we’re getting positive cases really quite late at night and having to act on it. So I’d like to thank the media for publicising some of the press releases to go that can go out very, very awkward times for you I know as well as for for us. I mean at The Hague, we’ve got 222 year sevens and 107 six year eights who are now all being asked to, to self isolate with their families, I know that the one on one and track and trace service have been contacting them ever since this is really its ugly head on Monday, they’ve dealt with an awful lot of them in terms of asking them to self isolate, and have been calling them up sort of, as I said, dozens at a time for testing. I’m trying to perceive the risk and then take it from there. So I know that the Testing Service they’re going to be doing hundreds of tests a day from now on and ramping that up and actually take bring in more squabbles to deal with that capacity. In terms of Bella Salah we’ve got we’ve got it. It’s a slightly smaller school, we got 35 children there 18 members of staff and four supply teachers involved, all of whom are being asked to self isolate, all of whom will be approached, and many of them have been approached already by the contract tracing team. If any of those people in those cohorts haven’t heard from the contact tracing team, please phone 111 give them your details. We’ve got all the lists from the head teachers in terms of who’s been involved. But if we have inadvertently missed any ones or you’re not quite sure whether you are at risk, please contact one more one service and they’ll be able to deal with that appropriately.

Leanne Cook 1:01:11
And my second question is also for yourself Dr. Robinson and regarding balance Allah correct me if I’m wrong but with the Ben The Hague students advice was given for those that they share a house with to isolate but with year three and four Bella Salah no mention was given to those who share house with what why was that

Alex Allinson 1:01:30
it’s my understanding that the exact same advice was given for those households, that if a child was identified at high risk that the entire household would have to go into self isolation until they were contacted until they were tested. And then given further advice, or we’re trying to do here he is deal with a very transmissible variant of the virus, we know that it can, unfortunately affects um, children far more than the previous variant, and possibly the same as it affects adults. So we are taking this very seriously to try to close down and the the the ability for households to mix even inadvertently and try to bring numbers down as soon as possible.

Leanne Cook 1:02:11
So just to clarify the families of those in year three and four of Bhalla, sallows should should they say self isolate until further notice,

Alex Allinson 1:02:19
I would like them to self isolate themselves further notice they will be being contacted by the one one service to give them further advice based on the risk that’s perceived in that environment. And obviously, that that that advice is based on facts on data, and on the number of positive cases. Thank you.

Howard Quayle 1:02:37
Thank you very much, Leon. And now last but not least, we’ve got Tim Glover from Manx radio. Good afternoon, Tim faster my

Richard Butt 1:02:45
faster might just before he asked my questions just to help you with getting the preparing the way and the seriousness the things I think it’s the first time since the 16th of April, we’ve had double digit figures announced in cases. So that brings it home a little bit. First question is to the health minister, I returning as well to Helens question with people over 70. If not have their letter, even though they’re in the vulnerable category, they’ve checked it out and made inquiries to 111, and GPS. And these people are saying that they’d be missed off the list. They’re not even on the list. And the data that you’ve got the GPS are saying, well, it’s a 111 issue. And the health is saying it’s a GP issue. Little area of concern, I would imagine.

David Ashford 1:03:31
And what if that is happening, it’s actually a big area of concern. As far as I’m concerned, Tim, what I need to be clear how this actually feeds are the records of people’s dates of birth, etc, in which category they formed, come from the GP records from the primary care records, we use that as the basis for people to be called up. So we look at the date of births that are contained on people’s primary care records. So if people have examples of that, I’d be very interested to hear that because if people aren’t being called on to certain cohorts, we need to see if there is an issue that

Unknown Speaker 1:04:02
they’ve taken their numbers. So can I pass those on? You know, certainly

David Ashford 1:04:04
k if they’re happy for me to have that information. And I’m happy to

Richard Butt 1:04:08
check that out. And my second question to the Chief Minister, I’m going to go to where we started the best, sir. You said, You’ve asked the chief secretary to look at the issue of the max cruise of the steam package and people are coming back saying that’s just like someone marking their own homework. Live van is calling for a symbol Public Accounts Committee inquiry, the shipping Union, the RMT is now involved saying ferry workers must not be blamed for this outbreak. It’s not going to go away. When will you ask for a full an independent investigation?

Howard Quayle 1:04:40
Well, first and foremost, it’s up to if timbal wants an independent investigation that’s entirely up to term with I’ve asked the chief secretary to organise not for the chief secretary to do the investigation, but for the chief secretary to have a person do an independent review for us to find out what did happen and what can we learn from this and Go forward. So we are not blaming anyone, we’re saying it’s a genuine misunderstanding. And where, you know, as far as I’m concerned, we will find out what’s what’s happened here, we’ll review it and make sure that we put in measures to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. But at the end of the day, no one is infallible. Whether it’s, it’s our team, or at the steam packet team, misunderstanding the rules, we greatly support the hard work that the steam packet have done and getting our freight and all the people back to the island and off the island and all the food that we need. So we are working with an organisation that has to mix with the UK, it is a concern, there were mitigation measures put in place, and that was that staff wore PBE all the time whilst on board. And also the our team thought that the steam packet crew were then isolating when they came home steam pack, it obviously thought it was just their English crew that were having to do this. This is being investigated. It’s being reviewed. As I say, I’ll get a report from the chief secretary. And we’ll make sure that lessons are learned from this. But at the end of the day, it’s not going to fix the situation it’s happened. We need to get to the bottom just to stop the spread and get the situation back under control. And if if the Liberal Party want a review, and timolol agrees Well, that’s what will happen. Thank you. Thanks very much, Tim. Thank you very much for your questions. And thank you for everything that you are doing. I know this is not easy. And I know that many of you are deeply disappointed that we’ve had to go back into a circuit breaker lock tied down. I am too. But given the circumstances, it was the right thing to do. We just needs to get through the coming weeks to ensure our vaccination programme can continue at pace so that we can move into a different phase. For now the message is simple. Stay at home. And I must really implore you to adhere to this rule. Please only go out if you really do need to. The more people we have at home, the less likelihood of this virus spreading how quickly we can bring this outbreak under control is in all of your hands. Please be responsible. We all have such an important role to play through our decisions and actions. If you do have to go out, please wear a face covering as much as possible. If you feel any symptoms, please self isolate and call 111 as soon as possible. respect the rules and we will get through this. Please make the right decisions for you, your family and your Ireland. Thank you all very much

Michael Josem

Michael Josem is a long-term consumer advocate, most prominently as a global leader in combating fraud in the online gambling industry. He was in part the inspiration for the 20th Century Fox Movie, Runner Runner, starring Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake.

Josem has over a decade of experience as a senior business leader working across various high-tech and online industries, and takes action to build a better community. His primary volunteer roles include service for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, and Graih, the homelessness charity.