Coronavirus: More staff to operate Isle of Man's crematorium

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image captionThe island's crematorium is situated in Glencrutchery Road, Douglas

More staff are being trained to operate the Isle of Man's crematorium in the wake of the spread of the coronavirus, Douglas Council has said.

The extra workers would be needed should the facility "have to go to extended hours", council leader David Christian said.

The number of staff able to operate it would rise from four to up to 12 by the end of the week, he added.

Of 29 people tested so far, the island is yet to record a positive case.

Douglas has the island's only crematorium, which is operated by the town's local authority.

'Staff fall ill'

Mr Christian said: "We are planning because I think it's more a case of when it arrives, rather than if it arrives."

"If we do have to go to extended hours, or unfortunately some of our staff up there do fall ill and we're not able to carry out the cremations, we're going to ensure that we have sufficient staff available to operate the crematorium," he continued.

A plan to put arrangements in place for council staff to take on additional roles, such as refuse collection, was also being put in place, and events in the island's capital could also be cancelled at "very short notice".

The council was "following everything the government says" and being "as proactive as we can possibly be", Mr Christian said.

On Tuesday, the treasury minister confirmed up to £7m would be made available to the Manx NHS in the event of a coronavirus outbreak on the island.

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