The Government’s COVID-19 Co-ordinating Group has been meeting for 7 weeks now to plan, prepare and protect Gibraltar from the spread of the virus. Today, the Chief Minister chaired a meeting of this group for the second time. The Government is confident that Gibraltar is as ready as possible for the impact of the virus.
Today’s meeting allowed representatives from Government departments, healthcare providers and emergency services to reassess the situation in light of yesterday’s identification of a person in Gibraltar as having the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Existing plans were reviewed and refined, including on logistical matters and measures to take going forward.
The Co-ordinating Group took the decision to advise members of the public to avoid large public gatherings where possible.
As announced yesterday, schools will remain open as normal because children are not badly affected by COVID-19.
The Government will decide whether to go ahead with scheduled Government events on a case-by-case basis. The Government continues to take the advice of our Public Health professionals and the situation is under constant review.
The Chief Minister, the Hon Fabian Picardo, said: ‘Upon the advice of our Public Health experts, we took the decision to advise the public to avoid places where large groups of people might gather. This is part of the Government’s current strategy to increase the social distances between individuals to try to stop the spread of germs. We call all do our bit to protect ourselves and our families. Remember, WASH YOUR HANDS and if you feel unwell, please don’t put yourself or others at risk. Go home and call 111. A team of dedicated Public Health professionals will help you.’
The Government is confident that Gibraltar is as ready as possible for the impact of the virus.
The Government continues to take the advice of our Public Health professionals and the situation is under constant review.
The best thing that everyone can do to protect themselves and their loved ones is to wash hands regularly and well with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. It is also a good idea not to shake hands, hug or give kisses when greeting colleagues, friends and relatives for the time being, especially if they are over 70. We know that the elderly and people with chronic health conditions are the most vulnerable, so we must all do our part to keep ourselves and our loved ones out of harm’s way.
If you do not feel well, please do not go to the Primary Care Centre or to St Bernard’s Hospital as this puts you and others at greater risk. Go home, avoid public transport and call 111 as soon as you can to tell us about your symptoms.
For almost 90% of people, the symptoms will be very mild and most people who contract the virus will be able to recover well and quickly at home. 99% of people will likely fully recover. The focus now is to increase the distance between people in order to try to slow the spread as much as possible, and to take extra care with older and vulnerable friends and relatives. Think twice before you pay them a visit and strongly consider whether you could phone or video call them instead.
Please look to official sources for advice, particularly www.wuhan.gi.
- PROTECT your loved ones – call, don’t visit
- WASH your hands
- CALL 111 if you feel unwell