THE 57-year-old man who died of a heart attack on Tuesday night was not suffering from COVID-19, the government has revealed.

The announcement will be welcome news to Gibraltar citizens who were in panic after the Chief Minister spoke of the tragedy on Wednesday.

The Medical Director Krish Rawal apologised for causing ‘any worry or distress’ by calling out this case, confirming he had followed all the self-isolation recommendations.

Cases of the coronavirus also continued to rise but despite this, those who are better have once again topped those currently fighting off the disease.

The 52 recovered cases as opposed to 46 active ones of 98 confirmed cases are a testament to how well Gibraltar is handling the pandemic.

The 1,269 tested so far covers 4% of the Gibraltar population and includes 300 swabbed as part of the random testing programme.

The figures attained from these results will be examined by the postgraduate medicine students at Gibraltar University, Gibraltar Health Authority and other scientists.

The study will give, according to Minister Gilbert Licudi, ‘Gibraltar specific information about the virus and will assist in informing future strategy and decision making processes’.

Minister Gilbert Licudi also notified the public that all patients and staff at Hillsides Elderly Care home have tested negative to the COVID-19 virus.

It came after three patients tested positive to the virus earlier this week and they have now been put in isolation.

“This suggests that whoever infected the patients has been cured,” added.

Another worrying infection at elderly flats in Albert Risso House has caused stricter controls to come into force.

“The resident is currently in isolation at home and will be monitored closely by medical staff,” said Licudi.

“How the tenant has contracted the virus is currently being investigated.

“But initially, it seems that the person could have contracted the virus by something that was handed on.

“Starting yesterday evening, wardens and security officers will be manning the main entrances to the Albert Risso House, Charles Bruzon House, Seamaster Lodge and Bishop Canilla House 24 hours a day.

“Starting yesterday evening, wardens and security officers will be manning the main entrances to the blocks 24 hours a day.

“COVID-19 support volunteers have been recruited to receive goods at the entrance to the estates from family and friends.

“They will be responsible for their delivery to residents after sanitising them.”

Over 700 pensions and benefits have been handed out so far and the government is doing its best to find ways to distribute the rest.

Readiness

Overall, there are now nearly 700 beds available across Gibraltar, from the main hospital site to the field hospital and elderly services.

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PREPARED: Gibraltar has made a special effort to be ready for the worst with its Nightingale field hospital

The GHA is working on starting tests soon but there is a shortage of the chemical reagent so it will continue to rely on Spain for tests.

The problem is that there are currently around 250,000 swabs that have to be tested just in Andalusia, which explains the slow receipt of tests.

Five more ventilators were received by the Ministry of Health yesterday taking the number up to 55 on the Rock.

Usage of the key worker child service has hovered around 150-160 children everyday with less people using it on weekends.

Four schools have been opened for this purpose during the week, with only one at weekends.

The key skills home learning programme is getting a greater uptake among the primary school children than secondary students, Licudi reported.

As the minister responsible for the port, he said that this was still active for bunkering, which needed no human contact to carry on working.

UK and Canadian citizens have also been helped, being taken straight to the airport to catch the British Airways flight to Heathrow.

Rawal also revealed that health workers who had lived in Spain were being given a place to live and work in Gibraltar.

Although many of the routine services are not offered at St Bernard’s he said some are now being relocated to other sites like the Gibraltar University.

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