The British Army have arrived on the Isle of Wight this weekend as the coronavirus crisis continues, with 25 confirmed cases and 4 deaths locally.
Soldiers, believed to be from the Scots Guards, have taken up residence on the Island tonight (Saturday) and are expected to help local authorities in managing the developing situation, which could include building field hospitals, distributing personal protective equipment and other logistical activities.
It’s thought that up to 40 troops have been mobilised to the Isle of Wight but it is unclear if they will be here for days, weeks or months. There has been no official word from the Isle of Wight Council, the Ministry of Defence nor the Isle of Wight NHS Trust.
As previously reported by Island Echo, military planners have been working with the Isle of Wight NHS Trust to identify ways of significantly increasing bed capacity at both the St Mary’s Hospital site in Newport and at other locations around the Island.
The Army’s first job is expected to be converting parts of the hospital into wards. Work has already taken place with local resources with the Intensive Care Unit increased from 6 ventilated beds to 18, with further plans to increase this to 45.
Island Echo revealed yesterday that several large mobile refrigeration units have been shipped to the Island to act as a temporary mortuary in order to deal with a rise in deaths locally, should it be required.
It was confirmed earlier today that another person has sadly died from coronavirus on the Isle of Wight, bringing the total number of deaths locally to 4.
The latest victim is said to be a man in his 90s. He had underlying health conditions. All 4 deaths on the Island have been men aged in their 70s, 80s and 90s.
Official figures from Public Health England show that there are a total of 25 confirmed cases of coronavirus on the Isle of Wight as of 4th April. Nationally, the number of people who have tested positive for the deadly virus has reached in excess of 41,000 and there have been 4,313 deaths.
It has been revealed that 5 people treated at St Mary’s Hospital, who had tested positive for COVID-19, have now recovered and have been discharged.