There has not been a rise of confirmed cases in Gibraltar over the last 24 hours.

A total of ten people have contracted Covid-19, many cases thought to be by local transmission.

Thankfully, five people have since recovered, three are well and will have the all clear ‘in a few days’ and two are in a ‘relatively good condition’.

“We have perhaps considered that we’ve been lucky so far at keeping it relatively at bay,” said Public Health Minister John Cortes.

“But we must not be surprised when we see increases in cases and hospitalizations in coming days and weeks – it is to be expected, it is coming and we are ready.”

This comes after the driving facility where people can get tested for infection at Rooke was made ready yesterday, where 50 swabs will be done a day.

HOSPITAL

“In a few days time a field hospital will be made ready, which will possibly have care assistants from the UK,” added Cortes.

There are currently 98 beds at St Bernards Hospital, and an additional 50 beds will be made available when the elderly are moved to Mount Alvernia and Belle Vista.

Ventilators and respirators are being acquired, more to be expected in the coming days to help those who encounter serious symptoms.

A total of 161 people have been tested with swabs, 90 of those have turned out negative.

However, a ‘significant’ 61 results are still pending, with Cortes saying that it is significant because he expects ‘quite a number of those will be positive.’

SERIOUS, SENSIBLE BEHAVIOUR

“Let me be serious, we will have many more cases and we will fill the hospital, and we will have people needing intensive care, and we will, more than likely, have deaths,” added Cortes.

Cortes urged the community to undergo ‘sensible behaviour’ and said that a lock down may very well achieve this.

“We must be ready for weeks for a new way of life,” added Cortes.

“Our 111 line has been busy, which makes me think the virus is upon us,” said Director of Public Health Sohail Bhatti who has had 630 calls on this phone line in the last week.

“Over 200 people in Gibraltar have been in self isolation too,” Bhatti revealed.

“We do anticipate someone will fall critically ill in the next few days, and I’m also minded that in terms of the number of new infections, we’re thinking something like four or five dozen have taken place just today.”

However, the Director of Public Health later said, “By all means be cautious about things but don’t become paranoid – for many this virus is no worse than a cold.”

As usual, the advice offered to fight the spread of Covid-19 is as follows:

  • Stay at home, especially if you’re over 70
  • Keep your distance from people, in a queue or workplaces for example.
  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.
  • Dial 111 if you or someone close develops symptoms of the virus.
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