A SURGE in coronavirus cases on the Isle of Wight? We haven't seen one, health and council bosses have told the Isle of Wight County Press this afternoon (Tuesday).

They are moving to reassure Islanders, after a report in a national newspaper said the Isle of Wight was fourteenth on a list of at-risk areas.

The Daily Express reported that the Isle of Wight could be at risk of a new lockdown after a rise in cases.

But is that really true? Scroll down for reaction and comment...

The figures show:

Isle of Wight County Press:

Last night (Monday), Leicester was put under new lockdown restrictions - with non essential shops closed from today and schools from tomorrow. The government said it had taken the measures because of a significant increase in Covid-19 cases.

There were fears the Isle of Wight could be next.

Here's what the Island's leaders are telling us...

Director of Public Health

"I haven't seen a surge in cases on the Isle of Wight...We're doing very, very well."

Isle of Wight County Press:

"We need to be really careful and remember that the Island has had a low number of infections and that's really, really positive. We were always mindful that the Island was an area we need to be careful of, because of the hospital capacity and the older population, who are more at risk.

"When I'm looking at the figures, I see that actually we're doing very, very well. If we are preparing for a second wave, to say we are a hotspot is not a helpful way to view that. 

"I haven't seen a surge in cases on the Isle of Wight. We also have a small number cases so statistically, if you get one or two, that looks like we've had a large increase. Actually it isn't."

Council Leader

"The Island is not at any immediate risk of a lockdown."

Isle of Wight County Press:

Council leader, Dave Stewart, said: "I want to reassure everyone that despite reports today that suggest otherwise, the Island is not at any immediate risk of a lockdown of the sort we are currently seeing in Leicester.

"Our rate of infection remains among the lowest in the country and we hope that with our outbreak management plan in place and the community’s continued support we can keep it that way.”

Isle of Wight MP

"This is not a spike or a plateau, but a very sharp drop."

Isle of Wight County Press:  

Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely said: “I would like to reassure Islanders that there is no evidence of a surge on the Isle of Wight. In fact, the opposite is the case.

“We have seen just four cases of Covid-19 confirmed in June out of a population of nearly 120,000. Three of those cases were prior to 13 June. We have had one case since the middle of June.

"The NHS data shows we had a total of 200 Covid cases by 1 June. We have had now 203 cases. This is not a spike or a plateau, but a very sharp drop.

“Should we see a rise in cases, the IW Council and IW NHS Trust has robust plans in place to ensure we can deal with any local outbreaks quickly.

“Extra capacity has been built into the hospital, Hovertravel is now able to take patients on the hovercraft and we had the RAF chinook helicopter landing exercise in April to ensure we are ready to deal with a sudden increase in cases here. Much work has gone in to making sure we are not left vulnerable, and we can react quickly if we need to. I thank again everyone involved in this.

“We cannot stay in lockdown indefinitely without severe consequences to people’s lives and livelihoods.

“It is a balancing act. We must take every step we can to protect people and get back to normal. We need to save life now but also save life later. We must make sure that people have access to medical checks such cancer screening, otherwise we will see a rise in cancer patients as illnesses go undetected.

“There have been a range of studies about how the Isle of Wight faces significant risks in terms of both the virus and economic consequences. That is why extra care must be taken here in taking steps to suppress the virus whilst getting the economy moving again. We must ensure that we look after our most vulnerable residents while trying to protect the lives and livelihoods of others." 

Second wave hotspot?

Meanwhile, Oxford University’s Leverhulme Centre for Demographic Science said if there was second wave, the Isle of Wight did face an increased risk of problems, due to its availability if hospital beds, older population and deprivation levels.

Read more: Coronavirus: University research names Isle of Wight as potential second wave hotspot

The Isle of Wight Council has released its coronavirus management and recovery plan today (Tuesday). Read more: Coronavirus: First look at Isle of Wight's Covid-19 recovery plan