THE Government is calling for volunteers to be trained as nursing assistants to help out if there is a big rise in cases.

The number of confirmed cases of the Covid-19 in Gibraltar has risen to 81, with 47 active cases out of the 559 tests which have been received.

The volunteers will be given a three-day ‘very thorough’ training package if they are not in the vulnerable category.

Some 221 cases remain pending with a total of 770 swab tests done on people with symptoms.

The good news is that 34 people have recovered from Covid-19, and this number will only continue to rise.

The Nightingale field hospital is now open and will act as an additional ward to St Bernard’s Hospital

It will be able to cushion the influx of people who get infected by providing 300 more potential beds for those who need them.

Systematic testing has only just started that will see 400 people picked at random to see how prominent the virus is on the population.

“The number of tests in Gibraltar, 770, might sound low, but in proportional terms, it is actually quite high when compared to the size of our population,” said Deputy Chief Minister Joseph Garcia.

The percentage of people tested equates to around 2.4% of the Gibraltarian population.

To put this into perspective, if the UK tested 2.4% of their population, they would have tested 1.2 million people.

“The latest test data I have seen is that the UK has tested 134,916 persons so far,” Garcia added.

However, despite the government saying the Gibraltar testing facility would be ready for this week, no fixed date has been set for it to start testing.

Fabian Picardo Nightingale
NIGHTINGALE: The Europa Point facility is inspected by Chief Minister Fabian Picardo

Volunteers

Volunteers will be called upon only when needed and people may be pleased to know that ‘academic qualifications are not required’ to take part in the nursing effort.

Minister for Civil Contingencies, Samantha Sacramento, spoke of the need for volunteers to provide backup for the staff at the Nightingale Field Hospital if needed.

Over 1,000 people have previously called the Government willing to volunteer.

Sacramento assured the people who have not heard back from the Government that their help is ‘extremely welcome’ and that they will be contacted soon enough.

You can volunteer by calling either 200 60359 or 200 75595.

Task Force Future

When all the dust settles with Covid-19, everything will need to return to normal with tourism, the port, financial services, and of course businesses in general.

This is why the Government has launched a new task force, called ‘Task Force Future’ to monitor and assess a post-coronavirus future.

“Task Force Future will look at how to prepare ourselves for the opening of businesses all over the world,” said Garcia.

Following Olive Press questioning, Garcia said that based on public health advice, it is unnecessary to carry out temperature tests on people coming in through the border from Spain to Gibraltar.

This is because Cadiz remains one of the lowest infected regions in Spain, with around 650 confirmed cases and health experts do not believe frontier testing is necessary, the DCM explained.

Octogenarian Survives
SURVIVOR: An 89-year-old Covid victim has come out of hospital alive and kicking

Together

Ministers praised the sense of community even as some elderly still felt they were being imprisoned for no valid reason.

“The sense of community spirit is truly remarkable,” said the Deputy Chief Minister.

“It has taken a killer virus to bring humanity together to make us reevaluate our priorities.

“It has forced us to move away from our non-stop, busy schedules and to make us understand and value what really matters.”

Gibraltarians have been coming together and helping one another in the face of the pandemic.

The majority of population have stuck to the rules laid out by the Government, especially the new legislation in force for those over the age of 70.

Yet according to Minister Sacramento, there are elderly people who ‘continue to defy’ the regulations and are being physically taken back to their homes by police.

She warned that legislation has been drafted to allow police officers to have additional powers to issue on-the-spot fines, but this has not yet been imposed.

The legislation could very well be put in place if people don’t follow the public health advice given.

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