11 March 2020
The Deputy Medical Officer for Health is reassuring Islanders after the World Health Organization today declared the Coronavirus outbreak a pandemic.
Dr Ivan Muscat, Consultant Microbiologist and Jersey’s Deputy Medical Officer for Health, says that although the virus has spread to more than a hundred countries, Islanders should not be alarmed. He has asked them to continue to follow the advice previously issued by the Government of Jersey.
Dr Muscat said: “We are aware of the change in status regarding COVID-19 and continue to closely monitor developments from WHO. Our advice on self-isolation for people returning from affected countries and on general hygiene remains unchanged. Jersey is well-prepared to deal with Coronavirus.
“Although the word pandemic may cause concern, I want to reassure people that it is a geographical term – meaning the virus has spread worldwide – rather than an indication that the virus has become more severe.
“I would ask Islanders to remain calm and to continue as normal. The Government of Jersey continues to hold daily meetings to keep ahead of the global situation. In the meantime, please follow good hand, surface and respiratory hygiene and ensure appropriate self-isolation and self-referral if you have been to one of the countries affected by COVID-19, as detailed on the Government website.”
The helpline set up for Islanders who are concerned that they may have symptoms of Coronavirus (01534) 445566 is open between 8am and 8pm seven days a week. Islanders who develop a fever, a cough, or have difficulty in breathing within 14 days of travel from specified countries affected by Coronavirus should call the helpline for assistance.
If someone becomes very unwell they are asked to call 999 and to explain their travel history. Islanders are urged not to attend the Emergency Department or their GP surgery without contacting them first.
There is more information about Coronavirus online.