GIBRALTAR is pushing COVID-19 ‘almost to extinction’ according to the Minister for Public Health.

It comes as the Rock has seen no drastic rise of coronavirus infections even after the start of the Golden Hour scheme last week and the easing of lockdown on businesses over the weekend.

The number of active cases remains at a standstill at 11, with 133 people who have recovered since the virus first appeared in the British territory at the beginning of March.

Over 3,100 people have been tested for infections, including hundreds of new tests of frontline workers from the police, customs, elderly services and healthcare.

“So this still looks that we’ve got it under some control, thanks to the hard work of many, and the cooperation of the vast majority of our people,” said Minister for Public Health John Cortes.

“If we want to transition back to normality soon, we must not drop our guard.

“We must be more aware than ever, and act accordingly.”

Cortes mentioned that the government was keeping a close eye on research into the virus and spoke how transmission from children to adults seems to be weak.

He also mentioned research that people who recover from COVID-19 potentially develop immunity from any future infection, but this needed further confirmation.

“And so there can be no immunity passports issued yet to those who have happily overcome the infection,” he added.

The Minister for Public Health mentioned how the government will be getting 35,000 kits of an antibody test as soon as they become available.

The antibody test will be able to see what portion of the community has had COVID-19 in the past to get some more information on infection.

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IN CHARGE: Minister John Cortes and ERS Director Antonio Marin

Breathing deeper

As Minister for the Environment, Cortes spoke about how air quality continues to improve in the territory.

The news came after Chief Minister Fabian Picardo announced yesterday that many of Gibraltar’s main roads will close as from June 1.

These roads will include Line Wall Road, Chatham Counterguard and Europort Avenue to reduce the usage of cars and promote a lower carbon footprint.

“We must do everything we can, no matter how difficult it may be, in order to keep these improved levels of air quality in the future for our health, and for our well being,” Cortes said.

“We need better air quality if we are going to live well and
be able to have better respiratory health.”

Elderly needs

No other infections of COVID have been detected at Elderly Residential Services following successful recoveries of three elderly people.

It has been two months since ERS has been on lockdown, this being because the elderly are the most vulnerable in the community.

A total of 13 swabs were taken of residents, who were taking to isolation areas awaiting swab results.

It is unclear when relatives will be able elderly residents at this time.

“You know that the first lockdown was in the nursing home, we believe that the last one to come out of the lockdown should be the nursing home,” said ERS director Antonio Marin.

“I think the sacrifice should continue for a few more weeks.

“I think we should play it safe.”

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