ANOTHER elderly person who lived in a Gibraltar nursing home has died today from COVID-19.

The 75 to 80-year-old man had underlying conditions and was a victim of COVID-19, bringing the total number of deaths to 70.

There are currently 438 active COVID-19 cases in Gibraltar, 47 of them at elderly nursing homes.

Numbers of patients in hospital have shrunk too, with 31 in the COVID-19 ward and nine in the Critical Care Unit.

Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said: ‘The loss of another resident of ERS to COVID-19 is extremely sad and my thoughts are with their family and friends.

“I look forward to the day when we no longer have to make these tragic and painful announcements.

“I hope that many in our community will find some comfort in the news that appointments for the second dose of the vaccine against COVID-19 are being set.

“This welcome development means that some of our most vulnerable will have the best immunity that they can have against this horrible virus.

“But we all still need to take the greatest of care, whether you’ve received the vaccine already or not.”

The Chief Minister urged people to respect the lockdown as cases came down with the view to unlocking on February 1.

“Gibraltar is still in lockdown: stay at home,” he warned.

“Protect yourself and others by wearing a mask where you have to, wash your hands and call 111 as soon as you notice any symptoms. These simple things are how we win.”

Vaccine safety

The Pfizer BioNTech vaccine has now been given to 11,073 people on the Rock, with a third batch expected from the UK this week.

Today, Picardo denied there had been any deaths from COVID-19 after people had taken the vaccine.

Six elderly people who took the vaccines had died of the coronavirus, but they had been infected before being vaccinated, said the government.

“There is no evidence of any deaths in Gibraltar arising from inoculations with the Pfizer vaccine,” said Picardo.

“Immunisation is the best and only strategy to safely emerge from the difficulties that the pandemic has created.”

It was recently revealed that the COVID-19 pandemic has cost about Gibraltar £167 million, according to the GSD Opposition.

The majority of financial loss so far is in £122 million of taxes and duties with £45 million being needed to fight the pandemic directly.

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