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As confirmed Covid-19 patients recover, officials urge focus on ‘science over fear’

All the people who have been confirmed with Covid-19 in Gibraltar have either recovered already or any on the road to recovery, the Director of Public Health said yesterday, as he urged the community to take precautions but not fear the virus.

Dr Sohail Bhatti said most of the people with the virus were in self-isolation at home and had not requires hospitalisation.

"The vast majority [of the cases] are in the community," Dr Bhatti said.

"That's always been our strategy, that the best place for you if you've got the virus is at home to self-isolate. And that's working well."

"There's no one that we know who has tested positive that is doing badly," Dr Bhatti added.

"They are on the route to recovery."

As of Wednesday, there were eight confirmed cases of the virus in Gibraltar, of which two have already recovered and six are active.

Of the active cases, some are "about to recover" but have not yet completed the number of required days in isolation.

Dr John Cortes, the Director of Public Health, said the measures taken by Gibraltar were working so far and said it was vital to follow the advice of health professionals in order to protect the most vulnerable in the community.

But he added too that the number of cases confirmed in Gibraltar is likely to rise in the coming days.

In taking the measures to face up to the crisis, he said "it's important that we base ourselves on science and not on fear.”

That was a message echoed by Dr Bhatti, who said the strategy sought to protect the most vulnerable – anyone over the age of 70 – while “sharing the virus as gently as possible” in order to create some community immunity without overwhelming the health services with a surge in demand.

"It's that gradualness which means that we will maintain a health service to provide for their care and their complications," he said.

"What we're trying to do is fairly sophisticated, it's dependent on cooperation from the public and the public understanding.”

And he urged too to guard against "over anxiety and fear".

"This virus is not anything particularly to fear if you're under 70," he said.

"It's just a cold."