THE Isle of Wight has seen a massive increase in the number of Coronavirus cases — with figures more than doubling.

For the first time, today (Thursday, July 2), full testing results have been released by Public Health England.

Previously, only 'Pillar 1' testing, positive Covid-19 tests at hospitals and in laboratories, were released. But following calls from the public and MPs to release the true figure, the government relented and is now including data from 'Pillar 2' testing — those done through test-at-home kits, drive through centres and other third-parties.

This means the number of positive Covid-19 cases massively jumped from 204, just 'Pillar 1' results to 421 — more than doubling the amount of cases known to Island residents.

The figure is the culmination of tests done throughout the pandemic, not just recently.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Earlier today, the Isle of Wight Council were keen to reassure residents not to panic as figures were revealed.

Read more: Isle of Wight MP: We should be 'open and transparent' with coronavirus cases data

Council leader, Cllr Dave Stewart said the provision of 'Pillar 2' data had been a significant concern to the council as it had been for all local authorities across the country for some time.

He said: "I am pleased to reassure the Island community that despite the update on data regarding Covid-19 cases, we continue to experience one of the lowest levels in the country.

"I am sure this is due to the support and commitment of our community in following our guidance and advice.

"The data takes account of our local testing and the increase is consistent with the national picture. But in our case, reaffirms the success we have had in keeping infections down and thereby keeping our community safe."

The latest figures mean the Island has an infection rate of 297.4 per 100,000 — increasing from 144.1 per 100,000 — but it is still the 27th lowest local authority (out of 150) in terms of infection rates.

The Isle of Wight is also the 8th lowest local authority area for Covid-19 cases.

Portsmouth has 492 confirmed cases and Southampton 915.

READ MORE: MP Bob Seely welcomes the data release.