COVID-19 claimed another life yesterday as the number of cases continued to fall in Gibraltar.

The latest pandemic victim was a 70 to 75-year-old man who died of multi-organ failure and COVID-19 pneumonia.

The latest casualty brings the quantity of deaths to 79, an unprecedented amount in December when the first death was recorded.

“I am very saddened by this news,” said Chief Minister Fabian Picardo.

“The deceased was well-known and dedicated many years of public service to our community.”

A total of 241 residents now have tested positive to the coronavirus, with only 16 of them in elderly nursing homes.

These levels are now coming to similar ones to those reported in mid-December when the virus first started to explode on the Rock.

Protecting ourselves

The vaccination programme continues to progress with nearly 13,000 people getting their first dose and 1,325 getting the second dose.

Now, university students from Gibraltar are asking to get their jab too before they return to the UK to continue their courses.

Although they are not in the priority groups and universities are still closed, the Gibraltar authorities want to do what they can.

“We want to try to fully vaccinate our university students before they leave Gibraltar if possible,” said Minister for Health Samantha Sacramento.

“This strategy will protect the students, but more importantly will help protect older relatives in Gibraltar against COVID-19 when the students return home in the coming months.

“We would therefore like to invite any students with confirmation that they will be travelling abroad to university to register online so that the GHA can contact this group for vaccination.”

Improvement

The public is free from social lockdown now, able to move freely other than during the nightly curfew from 10pm to 6am.

Only elderly people over the age of 70 are required to stay at home in self-isolation, except for essential tasks.

“Gibraltar continues to see a downward trend in cases and the pace of our vaccination programme is extremely promising,” said Picardo.

“Unfortunately every painful announcement I make shows we are not yet free from the worst effects of COVID-19.

“As we begin to move out of lockdown, please continue to follow the rules to protect yourself and those you love.

“If you develop symptoms, stay home and call 111.

“Our joint effort is the only way to defeat this virus.”

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