Four people have died after testing positive for covid this week, with at least two passing away as a direct result of the virus, it has been confirmed.
The Deputy Medical Officer for Health, Dr Ivan Muscat, confirmed two to three people had died due to the illness in response to a question from Express at a press conference this evening.
“I think the important distinction is between people who die as a result of covid in contra to those who die with coincident covid,” he explained.
“Until the numbers are officially sanctioned by the Superintendent Registrar, we can’t give an exact number… but that’s the figure we’re talking about.”
He also confirmed that those who had passed away as a result of contracting the virus “all had severe underlying medical conditions.”
Pictured: Dr Muscat confirmed the further deaths earlier this evening in a press conference.
Figures published after the conference showed there had been 36 covid-linked deaths in Jersey overall - a rise of three in the past 24 hours.
The Health Minister has since said in a statement: "I would like to extend my sincere condolences to the families, friends and carers of the deceased at this sad time.
"It is terrible losing someone at any time, but under these circumstances and at this time of year, it's truly devastating and on behalf of all health staff, I extend my thoughts and sympathy to the families affected."
One of the deaths confirmed so far this week was an islander described as “very elderly” with multiple conditions, who was living in a local care home when they passed away.
There are currently 65 individuals with covid in care homes at the moment, according to the latest figures.
Pictured: There are nearly 50 covid cases in care homes.
Express asked why, when care homes had previously been identified as a key area to defend in advance of the second wave, the virus had managed to spread across so many homes.
Dr Muscat explained that it was the likely effect of staff who “go out into the community and come back.”
“…It is entirely possible that the virus enters through staff or indeed inanimate objects as well because the virus can survive on inanimate objects for some time,” he added.
“It is not a completely impervious barrier that we can put up,” Dr Muscat went on to state, noting that the only other alternative is to “not let any people to go in” and quarantine.
“That is far too draconian and too great an isolation for that community.”
Dr Muscat noted that all care homes have been provided with PPE, and paid tribute to the “awful amount of effort” that has gone into the vaccination programme that has seen hundreds of care home residents receive their jabs over the past week.
Pictured: Beryl Taylor, the first islander in a care home to receive the jab.
The second batch of vaccines arrived this week, paving the way for the next step in the programme that will see residential home and home care staff vaccinated.
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