Coronavirus contingency fund revealed by Manx treasury – BBC News

Up to £7m will be made available to the Manx NHS in the event of a coronavirus outbreak on the island.

The fund was set up in 2016-17 to provide additional funding for one-off, unforeseen events faced by the Manx government.

Further money could also be freed up to “protect the health of our people”, Treasury Minister Alfred Cannan told the President of Tynwald.

Of 25 people tested so far, the Isle of Man has yet to record a positive case.

Mr Cannan said concerns were “growing” over the potential economic impact of the virus.

Support could also be made available to businesses, including those in the tourism and leisure industry, he said.

Treasury would work with the enterprise department to “assess the economic impact” and “bring forward appropriate supporting measures” if needed, he continued.

Speaking in the House of Keys on Tuesday, Chris Robertshaw said hoteliers on Douglas seafront were facing “the perfect storm” as fears over the spread of the virus continued.

“They have got the problems with the promenade, they have got concerns and a slowdown in bookings as a result of coronavirus, and the impact of the loss of Flybe,” he added.

Infrastructure Minister Ray Harmer said the council of ministers was treating the situation with the “utmost urgency”.

He added: “We will work with urgency to tackle these matters, but calm and considered decision-making is also needed.

“We simply do not know at this stage for how long and to what extent Covid-19 may impact on the economy.”

Source: bbc.com

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