Isle of Wight Lib Dem leader says Island should embrace contact tracing to reduce spread of Covid-19

Nick Stuart believes the Isle of Wight could be the first to embrace contact tracing in the fight against Coronavirus and act as a showcase for best practice

people symbol

This from Nick Stuart, Chair, Isle of Wight Liberal Democrats. Ed

As Party Leader on the Island during the Covid-19 pandemic I’ve been reluctant to criticise others. I know personally from my Civil Service days how in a crisis it is difficult to take decisions and manage unexpected issues.

However I’m keen to put forward positive possibilities. It was great that the Isle of Wight got a name check on Radio 4 (WATO 34.14). Especially where it involves way of emerging from the Covid pandemic.

Contact tracing
Professor Allyson Pollack talked about contact tracing by teams to control this pandemic. She suggested the massive number of unused NHS volunteers could work with Councils and NHS to take on the detailed work of tracing contacts of people with Covid.

With recent award winning expertise in Public Health on the Island can we not pull together a task force and start this urgently?

Mobile testing unit
Given there is a suggestion for mobile testing unit on the Island could this not link with contact tracing teams to get rid of the virus from the Island?

I’m sure a lot of our tourist industry would welcome such a possibility especially if we could keep it from the Island.

The Council, NHS and Social Care providers need to look at this possibility with some urgency.

Showcase for best practice
A first mover approach could showcase the Island as best practice for control and later for vaccine and antibody testing. 

With experience in the Department for Trade Bioscience Unit, and in Science and Innovation development, I can see how the Island could attract organisations and industry in the wake of this pandemic. 

Unique status
Perhaps the Solent Universities of Southampton, Portsmouth and Bournemouth might recall the unique characteristics of the Island and the opportunities that can offer.

Image: pixabay under CC BY 2.0

Thursday, 23rd April, 2020 8:34am



Filed under: Health, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Top story

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below must comply with the Commenting 'House Rules' and are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

Leave your Reply

7 Comments on "Isle of Wight Lib Dem leader says Island should embrace contact tracing to reduce spread of Covid-19"

newest oldest most voted
Testing and contact tracing the Island community is not enough, if you are going to open the floodgates to tourists and second home owners from all over the country. The incomers would have to be tested and cleared before being allowed to travel here, as that is where the virus is most likely to spread from. And they would have to carry proof of this, but that… Read more »
So the IOW got a name check on radio 4, so what big deal. Once again we see the Lib Dem leader this time with a focus on tourism just like Cllr Stewart stating “I’m sure a lot of our tourist industry would welcome such a possibility” regarding contact tracing. Forget about tourists they are not the priority, I’m sick to death of the same old rhetoric.… Read more »
I learnt from a Radio 4 programme yesterday that some 80% of Britons have a smart phone and that 80% of those people would need to be willing to participate in contact tracing for it to be viable. An App was developed in Singapore that can trace which phones were close together, so that if a person gets the coronavirus, those they have been in close proximity… Read more »

Smart phones are the plague of our lives

Angela Hewitt

For those curious to know -Is bioscience the same as biomedical science?
Bioscience is a broad term, and encompasses anything related to the study of Biology. This covers human biology, animal biology, microbiology, plant biology and to an extent, ecology. Biomedical science is more refined, and instead focuses on human biology.


“Contact tracing” seems a bit like a technique used by the STASI


I apologise for my language but that is a ludicrous comment. Contact tracing is how countries more on top of this than the UK have managed to keep the spread as low as possible. The point being that as soon as you know that you may have been in contact with a carrier you can isolate yourself and not spread the virus further.