LOCALS will be able to breathe fresher air now that COVID-19 has dramatically reduced the amount of traffic in the territory.
The news from the Minister of the Environment comes as cases remained at 12, with no-one else having been infected in the Children’s Health Centre outbreak.
“This improvement in air quality is most likely the result of reduction in traffic, and also construction and ship repair, particularly in the south district,” said Minister John Cortes.
The minister of the environment said that the improvement of air quality could also be because of the reduced emissions from across the bay in Algeciras.
The number of active cases remains at 12 in Gibraltar, with a total of 120 people who have recovered from COVID-19 since the beginning of March.
Cortes thanked Gibraltar’s supermarkets for their efforts so far with social distancing measures and restocking to keep the community well looked after as the number of active cases go down.
He reported that Public Health England expected there to be at least 300 deaths if Gibraltar had not taken any containment measures on the population.
There are no deaths in Gibraltar that are COVID-19 related yet after the population entered a social lockdown nearly a month ago.
Despite the statistics, the Minister for Public Health told the public that ‘we must not be complacent’.
This comes after lots of people have been breaking the civil contingency regulations by leaving their homes without a valid reason to do so.
Reports have been coming in that people are using the valid excuse of exercise to socialise with friends.
The Minister reminded the public that it is ‘not acceptable’ and that it is ‘playing into the hands of the Coronavirus’, urging people to remain at home.
A short exercise of up to 30 minutes is recommended while keeping in line with social distancing rules.
The authorities announced that only one person will be able to visit patients at the Victoria, Dudley or CCU wards at St Bernard’s Hospital to reduce the chances of transmission of COVID-19.
No visitors will be allowed to see patients at the COVID-19 ward or at A&E due to the ‘increased risk’, according to Medical Director Krishna Rawal.
When this whole pandemic dies down, Rawal urged people to take on a lifestyle of ‘exercise and preventative care.’
A total of 70 nursing care assistants have been trained out of over 300 applications from the public.
The Medical Director spoke of tastelessness and the lack of smell to be another symptom of the Coronavirus but that it should not be confused with hay fever.
He reported Gibraltar has only seen 13 patients in the COVID-19 ICU at St Bernard’s Hospital, which is much less than other countries around the world.
“My colleagues and my ministerial colleagues are all very proud to give these statistics because they show that the rate of the virus spread is reducing,” said Rawal.
“I’m asking you please to keep it up, keep strong – don’t lose your focus or your resolve, because there is no doubt in my mind we will beat this, we must beat it.”