PLANS to use the Europa Sports facilities as a field hospital have been announced by the Gibraltar Government.

The Core Group of policymakers will take full control of emergency services to fight any outbreak of the disease in the British territory.

Updates of the situation will be sent by Whatsapp to all Gibtelecom phone users so everyone knows what is happening.

A public information office will operate a call centre staffed by public servants to provide general information on the Coronavirus situation.

It will free the 111 service to be used only for those reporting Coronavirus symptons or travel to at-risk areas.

All non-essential services including surgery will be stopped at St Bernard’s Hospital by the end of the week.

This is intended to stop people with Coronavirus who have no symptoms infecting staff and other patients.

Emergency surgery will continue while cancer operations will be considered on depending on their severity.

The Europa Retreat Centre will become an emergency quarantine area immediately for those with the virus.

Self-isolation will be imposed on anyone who has Coronavirus symptoms, with the telephone service to be used by patients.

Europa Sports 2
EUROPA: Site of the new field hospital in Gibraltar

Strong measures

Elderly and more vulnerable people are being told to take the most care.

They have been told to stay at home and have as little social contact as possible, including that of family members like grandchildren.

They should limit any activities with over-70s, public transport, religious gatherings and any unnecessary movement.

The government has taken these measures after observing how the virus spread in many areas like Italy where the whole country is in lockdown.

“I am confident that Gibraltar is taking all possible measures in order to prevent the spread of infection locally and to increase the resilience of our healthcare providers and other public services,” said Deputy Chief Minister Joseph Garcia.

“I am completely satisfied by Gibraltar’s response to its first confirmed case of COVID-19 and that the patient was able to recover completely at home, with the support of many of our hardworking professionals.

“The next step is to ensure that this can be repeated seamlessly IF further cases are confirmed.”

The Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister will be in Joint Ministerial Council meetings in London until Friday.

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