IN order to ensure that the severity of the coronavirus effect in Gibraltar is fully appreciated, the government has formally upgraded their response to the pandemic to one of a Major Incident.
There are now 56 confirmed cases, of which 42 are still active and this declaration officially acts as the trigger for all agencies to adopt an enhanced response posture.
In the case of Covid-19, a command structure has already been adopted in practice and all Agencies have already been working together for the last few months in preparation but this has now been formally escalated.
This emergency structure is well rehearsed. Trials for such eventualities and different scenarios are run throughout the year to ensure that all emergency responders are ready to react in such eventualities.
The Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo said; “This declaration merely formalises many of the command structures which have been so effective throughout the last few weeks. During that time, we have been in daily contact with the Convent (seat of the Gibraltar Governor) and the Ministry of Defence.”
It has also been decided to ban the importation onto the Rock of all Covid tests, except those obtained through the Gibraltar Health Authority (GHA), in order to maintain quality and to stop the entry of tests that would be unreliable.
The government explained that if people are falsely informed that they do or do not have Covid-19 or have been infected in the past, this might adversely affect their compliance with social distancing measures.
Ultimately, it could lead to the collapse of the GHA and the unnecessary suffering and deaths of people who would not have died if the GHA was still functional.