30 Mar, 2020 @ 19:20
2 mins read

CORONAVIRUS: Boris Johnson sends letter of support to Gibraltar

Soldiers Gha

THE UK Prime Minister has written to the Gibraltar Chief Minister to reassure the British territory of his support in ‘difficult times ahead’.

The Chief Minister received a letter from UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday to ‘offer the full support of the United Kingdom’.

The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Gibraltar currently sits at 69, with 34 people having recovered and 35 active cases remaining.

These numbers come from the 576 total tests from people in Gibraltar who have shown symptoms, with 201 tests remain pending.

UK PM Boris Johnson has committed himself to send personnel, supplies and economic support if necessary to help the people of Gibraltar.

“The letter which I received on Saturday begins with a pledge from Mr Johnson, that the UK are committed to standing with us and supporting us during this difficult time,” said Picardo.

It came after the UK Prime Minister himself tested positive for Covid-19, which has now seen nearly 750,000 confirmed cases worldwide.

The Gibraltar Health Authority has asked for oxygen cylinder regulators from patients who might have one to spare.

This is thought to be for oxygen ventilation for patients who will be in serious condition from the Covid-19 virus in the very near future.

Equipment Donated
RECEIVED: This hospital medical equipment was returned by former users to the GHA

Help yourselves

Acting Medical Director Krishna Rawal said that smokers were in most danger from Coronavirus.

“Smoking affects the immunity and the resilience of the lungs and the evidence is showing that there’s an increased risk of harm from the Covid virus to smokers.

“So please consider this as a good opportunity to quit.

“I do understand that people who are in lockdown may find it very difficult to add more stress to your day by giving up smoking.

“But please consider this an excellent opportunity to quit.”

He warned people not to take Cloraquine malaria tablets as a way to fight the virus as this ‘could be toxic’.

Despite repeated questions from the press about the amount of GHA staff that have been infected, Rawal refused to reveal the numbers.

“Identifying frontline staff and, and giving figures for those is, is something that we should keep medically confidential,” he said.

Meanwhile, the field hospital at Europa Point, now called the Nightingale Facility, currently ready to take 190 patients as from today.

Members of the Barbarians and the Gibraltar Regiment have been involved in getting the hospital ready for use by the public, a fact noted by the Prime Minister in his letter.

The facility will be able to be expanded to accommodate 300 beds if the need arises.

Funerals will only be attended by ‘first degree relatives’ of the deceased, meaning that siblings, parents and partners for example will be the only ones allowed to attend.

This comes after news that the Gibraltar Cemetery will be extended to allow for 200 Spanish style niches in the event of a sharp increase of deaths in the peninsula.

In regards to on-the-spot fines, the Government has decided not to impose such measures at this stage.

Police Checks
CHECKS: On-the-spot fines would go against civil liberties, says the Chief Minister

“We have asked for the necessary legislation to be drafted should such powers become a necessary addition to the arsenal of our police,” Picardo stated.

Beacon of Hope

An 89-year-old has today recovered from the Coronavirus Covid-19 in Gibraltar, which is most dangerous to those people who are elderly and or have weaker immune systems.

“I hope we can aspire to replicate this situation but only if each of us comply with the rules on lock-down,” said Picardo.

Some 400 people will be tested as part of the Government’s random systematic testing to see how prominent the virus is on the population.

People who are selected for this procedure will be invited to use the testing drive-thru will they have a car, and if they don’t, medical staff will test them from their homes.

Meaning that nearly 1,000 people will be tested in the next couple of weeks.

“Let’s not be 21st Century Snowflakes,” concluded Picardo

“The evacuation generation went through war.”

“The referendum generation went through General Franco.”

“The closed frontier generation went through a siege.

“All we have to do is go through is our Netflix collections or very full pantries of kitchen cupboards.”

“Let’s not pretend that this is harder than it is.”

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