3 Apr, 2020 @ 19:33
1 min read

Over 1,100 people swabbed in Gibraltar as active COVID-19 cases rise again

Hillside Gibraltar

THE number of confirmed cases continue to rise in Gibraltar, with the number now at 95, 49 of which are currently active.

A total number of 1136 swab tests have been conducted, with 428 results remain pending.

March 4 was when the first COVID-19 patient was confirmed to have the virus in Gibraltar, nearly one month ago.

The Government revealed today that the random systematic tests have reached a number of 159 and one person has tested negative.

“The tests carried out so far is some 3.6% of the population,” said Deputy Chief Minister Joseph Garcia.

This comes after the total confirmed caseload of COVID-19 passed the one million mark worldwide, with nearly 120,000 confirmed cases in Spain.

“We have prepared Gibraltar for what is to come,” Garcia added.

“There are now more beds at St Bernards Hospital than ever.”

There is a total of 181 beds at present at the Hospital, with 25 beds in the COVID-19 ward.

This nearly mirrors how many beds are at the Florence Nightingale field hospital at Europa Point, which has a capacity of 190, expandable to 300.

Some 24 UK nurses have also come to Gibraltar to provide medical aid for the community.

People may be happy to hear that British Airways flights will also continue to fly into Gibraltar after Government’s discussions with the airline.

Flights will take place on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays after April 9.

Garcia thanked all the 269 people who have come forward with their interest in volunteering to becoming Nurse Assistants with a three day course.

These people will be trained and called upon when needed.

Elderly Residential Services

More measures have been put in place at the Elderly Residential Services after news that three patients had been infected with the virus at the Hillside elderly residential home.

At the beginning of March there were limitations for family visits to avoid cross contamination.

This was followed by complete closure of the care-homes, restricting access to families completely.

Though the elderly are still fully able to communicate with their families via telephone or with video calling, they are now isolated physically.

These three positive COVID-19 cases, all at Hillside ‘under isolation areas.’

“At the moment the patients are stable and we will be very vigilant over the weekend,” said Dr Antonio Marin, a geriatrician and Medical Lead at ERS.

As a result of the discovery, 77 swab test results from the elderly residents will be coming in later today.

It is thought that the patients had been infected by asymptomatic medical staff.

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