AN EIGHTH COVID-19 death has been reported in Gibraltar as numbers of active cases started to level off.

Cases went down to 906 yesterday before rising once again to 944 today with the social lockdown having been imposed on Saturday.

Using the car has now been banned unless it is for essential reasons like going to work or shopping.

The latest pandemic victim was a man between 90 and 95-years-old whose cause of death was COVID-19 pneumonitis.

He was taken into hospital on December 27 after testing positive for the virus and passed away a week later.

“With deep regret, we have lost another member of our community to COVID-19,” said Chief Minister Fabian Picardo.

“Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.”

There are now 29 people in hospital, six of which are in the Critical Care Unit, the highest numbers ever.

More elderly persons have been infected, with 43 testing positive so far, mainly at the Mount Alvernia outbreak.

Car clampdown

The Royal Gibraltar Police has been forced to disperse small crowds in the streets and there were too many cars on the roads for them to control.

Children’s parks have been closed and the Upper Rock declared off limits to vehicles.

“It is important for people to realize that Gibraltar is in lockdown and they should only leave home if absolutely necessary to do so for essential purposes,” said Minister of Civil Responsibilities Samantha Sacramento.

“Reports of behaviour over the weekend suggest that people are not taking the restrictions seriously.

“If this is the case then the lockdown will not achieve the desired effect.”

She pointed out how she wanted to stop the strain on frontline services which were making ‘huge sacrifices’ to keep the population safe.

“Please, protect yourselves and your loved ones, and help us stop the spread,” added Picardo.

“With a vaccine around the corner, we must do everything we can to safeguard the vulnerable and the elderly from the worst effects of this deadly virus.

The Gibraltar Health Authority has also asked people to only use medical services for real emergencies.

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