THE mayor of Gibraltar honoured the Gibraltar Health Authority (GHA) and Elderly Residential Services (ERS) with the Freedom of the City for their work during the pandemic.
Gibraltar’s parliament voted unanimously to confer the honour on the central health service and elderly carers in July 2021 at the request of the Chief Minister Fabian Picardo.
Mayor Christian Santos, on one of his last official acts before leaving the role, presented the Freedom Scroll to GHA and ERS leaders.
Natasha Cerisola, Antonio Marin, Valerie Flores and David Ballesteros received the award at John Mackintosh Square on May 24.
“The GHA and ERS were conferred the highest honour that Parliament can bestow in recognition of the key role played by their staff during the global COVID-19 pandemic,” the government said in a statement.
It said the staff members of both health services ‘went above and beyond the call of duty in the face of the public health emergency’.
Gibraltar has lost 113 lives so far to COVID-19, many during outbreaks at elderly residential homes.
The last deaths were recorded only last winter during an outbreak at an ERS home that infected at least 20 people. Two people had died by the end of March.
Chief Minister Fabian Picardo, Governor Sir David Steel and Minister for Health Albert Isola as well as other MPs and dignitaries attended the public ceremony.
Staff members of both organisations were also present to witness the historic moment.
At a later reception at the City Hall, the Chief Minister presented the GHA and ERS with the Gibraltar Medallion of Honour and Certificate.
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