2 May, 2020 @ 21:09
1 min read

Front-line services get COVID-19 all-clear in Gibraltar as shops open

Police Posing

SWAB results coming in for front-line workers seem to indicate that hardly any of them are COVID-19 positive.

The targeted sample of police, elderly carers and MOD workers was carried out last week and been processed in Gibraltar.

The news was announced by Acting Medical Director Krish Rawal, in response to Olive Press questions.

“We’re specifically testing frontline workers and that’s not just healthcare workers but across emergency services where they’re essentially people facing services.”

“By and large we haven’t picked up infections from there, so very good results.”

The number of active COVID-19 cases went down to 12 today out of 144 confirmed cases in total with 196 test results pending.

Both Minister for Health Paul Balban and Rawal highlighted the importance of staying healthy and not putting on weight during the lockdown.

This could lead to increased difficulty to resist the infection as well as problems with ventilation if it ever came to that.

Rawal said that ‘doing everything very slowly’ was the best way forward.

Most new studies on the pandemic still have not yet been peer-reviewed and considered scientific knowledge.

This was especially true of the one carried out in South Korea that suggested that people could get immunity from the virus if they had already got it.

Rawal added that the testing facilities might go slowly because only urgent swabs were being processed in Gibraltar.

With swabs and reagent being kept for the possibility of a new surge in Gibraltar, a lot of the tests were now being carried out in Spanish labs.

‘Only do essentials’

A worrying trend for authorities today was the amount of people on the street as some shops opened for the first time in six weeks on Main Street.

Assistant Commissioner Richard Ullger of the RGP, tweeted that ‘we are not out of the woods yet’, asking people to ‘only do the essentials’.

Minister Balban was keen to stress that people should not forget that they could not go window shopping or use the walk down Main Street to socialise.

However, he said he would not review this release from lockdown for the moment and urged people to respect social distancing.

From the businesses’ side, the Olive Press talked to some of the shop-workers who said they were ‘a bit overawed’ by the volume of people.

Having to deal with these eager customers was particularly a challenge while telling them to use hand sanitizer and keep their social distance.

This would have been harder as not all staff would have been working on the day with some of them still receiving BEAT COVID funding.

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