The pandemic could have spread to 1,800 people rather the 127 it has infected in Gibraltar so far, said the Minister for Public Health.

Minister John Cortes revealed the number of people that have beaten the coronavirus has once again topped those who have it at this time.

A total of 69 cases have now returned to fitness, while 58 others are still fighting the coronavirus, the majority at home.

Out of 32 people who visited the hospital yesteday, six had COVID-19 symptoms, two were swabbed with all of them being sent home.

There are now three COVID-19 patients in John Ward and one in the ICU, all who are stable as none are being ventilated.

There are 47 results still to be confirmed from the 1143 results of those with coronavirus symptoms.

“Public health advice remains that we will see a surge in hospitalisation possibly next week as those affected in the community develop symptoms,” said Public Health Minister John Cortes.

“The potential remains that the hospital could fill up in just a few days when this happens, as has been seen in other countries.

“We are, fortunately, ready for this.”

Ten active cases have now been confirmed from the 400 random swabs, nine who are active, showing that around 2.5% of Gibraltar is infected.

This would mean there could be 800 cases of the virus at the moment in Gibraltar, the majority which are not tested or reporting symptoms.

As six of the ten positive random samples showed no symptoms, this confirms that more than half of the carriers will not know they have the disease.

The tests also show less than six percent of the over 70s were positive, with 17% of the under 70s proving to have the Coronavirus.

“One analysis suggests that whereas we have had 127 positives at this stage, without the measures, we could have had closer to 1800,” said Cortes.

“If we stop applying the restrictions now, we will get a surge in cases.”

John Cortes
CONCERNED: Minister for Public Health John Cortes was a stout environmental defender

He spoke of needing to ‘strike the right balance’ going forward especially with the number of cases in Spain and UK.

With testing now being done locally, hopes for wider testing have been dashed after the minister revealed that a lack of reagent chemicals means it will be limited to those showing symptoms.

Community support

The Minister for Public Health has reported that the drop of vehicles on the roads because of the lockdown has decreased air pollution.

Tests will now be held over two weeks but he affirmed that ‘the biggest source of air pollution now in Gibraltar is traffic’, something to remember for the future.

Another interesting figure is that despite everyone being at home electrical devices, power usage has gone down by about 10% from 34 to 30 megawatts.

The community has also come together to help each other too, with a million pounds being donated to the health service.

Understanding Gibraltar, a Gibraltar NGO, arranged a donation of over £500 of food to the local women’s refuge, with Chandan supermarket providing most of the products.

Food Donation
VOLUNTEERS: Brought donations together for the needy cause of women in need on the Rock

It is hoped that other supermarkets, who have raked in the profits of panic shopping in recent weeks, could also make donations in the future.

Minister for Civil Contingencies Samantha Sacramento reported that the RGP had seen the beaches largely empty today.

It seemed the warnings given yesterday were being heeded by the general public and not many people were going to the beach over the festive weekend.

Sacramento gave a caring analysis of the current situation, pointing out how everyone had come together to support the community.

She has asked businesses or individuals to donate tablet computers for families that do not have that luxury in their possession.

Sacramento said an increase in domestic abuse is possible at this time which the police will tackle immediately.

Sam Sacramento
EQUALITY: Minister Samantha Sacramento spoke up for women

“The police are acutely aware that abuse is a possibility that could happen and are ready to help,” said Sacramento.

“If somebody contacts the police on the emergency number the police will attend immediately so that the person will then be assisted and supported to be out of danger.

“If that person cannot do so physically, then perhaps they could reach out to a friend for them to pass the message on to the police.

“There are resources available to help anybody get out of a situation where their lives or the lives of their children could be in danger.”

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