There are now six active Coronavirus patients in Gibraltar, but all are in good health.

This figure includes five new ones since March 17, with two of the original three having since recovered.

None of the six people who are currently suffering with the virus are in a good shape as Director of Public Health Dr Sohail Bhatti reported.

There are 33 test results to arrive in Gibraltar out of a total of 115 samples that have been sent to the UK for analysis.

Flight problems

On the subject of the Easyjet flight which had to be diverted to Malaga, Fabian Picardo said the problem was not political but logistical.

“None of those issues I want to be clear arose from any intransigence from the Spanish authorities,” said Picardo.

He said he had spoken to the Spanish Foreign Minister this morning who had reassured him it would not happen again.

“All I can say is I’m extraordinarily grateful that this is not politics that usual at any level, neither nationally nor internationally,” said Picardo.

“I think humanity has realised that it is facing an external threat and the approach of the Spanish Foreign Minister, I think is refreshing, positive and one for which I will always be grateful.”

He said the only problem was that ‘there were not any coaches available’ when the plane was diverted.

Gibraltar had to explain the situation to the ministry of the interior that then saw to it that the mainly young students were brought to Gibraltar safely.

Breaking the bank

Picardo’s final message was on the emergency budget to be introduced in Parliament this Friday.

He said had this move to fight the effects of COVID-19 had been agreed with both other political parties in Parliament.

He said he planned to extend the current financial year until September this year, with the possibility it will be continued for even longer.

“This will enable me to put in place some elements of what is going to have to be an emergency budget for the coming months,

“That will include further developments of the measures I announced on Monday and indeed, other measures

“I will be looking at measures not just for business, but also measures for employees who may be laid off, or who have their employment suspended for a period in which their employers are either not operating or reducing operations.”

This will see workers who are being temporarily laid off get extra cash to help them get by, which will need extra cash.

The double taxation agreement with the UK will also be included in Friday’s session of parliament.

Minister for Public Health John Cortes added there would be a cultural programme made available for the public online.

He also suggested employers should make it easier for people to self-isolate without sicknotes as doctors were currently finding it hard to find time for this chore.

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