ALTHOUGH the lockdown in Gibraltar has been extended for another month and the government is considering testing cross-border workers before allowing them onto the Rock, the number of those affected by the pandemic is remarkably low.
With 133 known to have caught the virus this represents around 0.04 per cent of the population and whilst similar to the figures of those affected on a worldwide basis, the recovery rate is spectacular with no deaths and just two people currently being treated.
The over 70’s who were considered the most vulnerable were required to stay indoors without exception but the fact that just 6 per cent of those infected were in that category suggests that the decision was sensible and proven to be correct.
As a ‘reward’ the restrictions will be lifted slightly and over 70’s will be allowed an hour a day exercise in the open air in designated areas whilst keeping social distancing.
Those most affected have been male and females aged between 31 and 50 according to Deputy Chief Minister, Joseph Garcia.
There are nearly 50 ventilators in Gibraltar spread between St Bernard’s Hospital and the newly created Florence Nightingale Field Hospital at Europa Point with a further 50 on order.
The Field Hospital which has the capacity to cope with 300 patients is still being improved and facilities expanded and just this week, a massive lorry containing mattresses became stuck at the exit of Dudley Ward Tunnel which leads to the southern tip of Gibraltar.
Remembering that Gibraltar suffered most from the ‘second round’ of the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic, with more than 1,000 deaths, the Gibraltar government is ensuring that the relatively liberal lockdown (when compared to Spain) is not removed too early and is able to cope medically should there be a sudden upsurge of cases.