HMGoG as advised by Public Health Gibraltar can confirm that the Kraken variant of COVID-19 has been detected from samples taken last week.
Public Health surveillance indicates that the Kraken variant has not been the predominant strain that caused the recent surge in cases during December and there is a chance of another wave of infections because of this variant, although related to Omicron has more ability to evade both natural and acquired immunity. However, there is no indication that it causes more severe disease or deaths.
The GHA and Public Health Gibraltar will continue to closely monitor the development of this strain. The recommendation is to continue with the current level of enhanced response. Mask wearing will still be required within St Bernard’s Hospital (SBH) and Elderly Residential Services (ERS). Walk-in vaccine clinics are available at SBH every afternoon from 1pm to 4pm.
Testing is still recommended for anyone who is querying COVID-19 symptoms [e.g. high temperature, cough, muscle aches, sore throat and tiredness]. Lateral Flow Tests can be purchased from pharmacies and other commercial outlets.
Those who test positive for COVID-19 on their Lateral Flow Test are required to isolate at home and call 111. A confirmatory test will be arranged if deemed necessary by 111 and the relevant advice given. LFTs should also be reported online at: https://forms.office.com/e/STb2Uv9Q2e
The Director of Public Health, Helen Carter, said: “We want to reassure the public that this is expected as we continue to move through the pandemic. We must keep testing, and even if you test negative, please stay at home if you have symptoms of high fever, and do not visit your loved ones at SBH and ERS”.