A SIX-DAY course has been completed by medical staff at St Bernard’s hospital to treat future Coronavirus cases.

As Gibraltar braces itself for a large amount of Coronavirus cases, the Government is training medical staff from all departments.

Some 35 nurses, ambulance drivers and departmental doctors have been taught the basics of ventilation equipment and breathing problems.

The training was introduced by Sandra Gracia, Director of Nursing and the Gibraltar Ambulance Service and Professor Ian Peate, Head of the Gibraltar School of Health Studies.

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“I am very impressed by the response from GHA staff who have risen to the challenge,” Peate said in a statement.

“Staff that have come from a variety of departments within the hospital have successfully completed the intensive six-day programme.”

Breathing problems

Since COVID-19 is a virus that causes breathing problems, patients who have severe symptoms would benefit from breathing machines.

The medical staff were taught skills by a specialist intensive care nurse from Northumbria University to best care for these patients.

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A three day course was also included and taught by a consultant in emergency medicine from the NHS Foundation Trust on anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology.

“I am extremely pleased and proud to see the commitment shown by our dedicated staff to provide the best possible care to our community,” said Paul Balban, Minister for Health and Care.

“We need to empower our valued staff effectively to be in a position to provide the highest level of care.”

Gibraltar now has two cases of the virus which has a mortality rate of 8%, with there being 185,000 cases worldwide.

One patient has since recovered but with the huge global spread of the pandemic, Chief Minister Fabian Picardo is expecting 80% of the population to contract COVID-19.

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