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Covid cases climb to over 100

Photo by Eyleen Gomez

Covid cases have continued to climb in Gibraltar with 115 active cases detected locally, which includes three in Elderly Residential Services and one in hospital.

Some 26 positive cases were identified on Wednesday, 20 residents, three visitors and three cross-frontier workers.

Of the 20 resident cases, 10 were vaccinated and 10 were unvaccinated, and three were aged over 85 years.

Overall, there are 126 active cases in Gibraltar including 104 residents, 11 visitors and 11 cross-frontier workers.

This marks the highest number of cases since early February.

But, even with cases rising, the number of hospitalisations has been low.

Currently, one person is in the Covid-19 Ward at St Bernard’s Hospital and there are three cases in ERS.

In the first three days of this week, 56 new cases have been detected.

Of the 115 active resident and visitor cases, genome sequencing carried out by the Gibraltar Health Authority has found 68 have the Delta variant, one has the Alpha variant, there are two tests they have been unable to sequence and 44 pending results.

The Delta variant, first identified in India, is known to be a more transmissible variant of the coronavirus.

On Wednesday there were 352 people in self-isolation and 1,352 tests had been carried out.

Some 291,019 tests have been carried out in Gibraltar since the pandemic began, of which 65,578 tests have been carried out so far in the frontline, targeted and systematic sampling.

"We have to remember that Covid is still out there and we mustn't drop our guard," Dr John Cortes, the Minister for Public Health, told GBC.

"I think a lot of us have."

"I think we probably wash our hands less and use the sanitising gel less, we hug and kiss more, we go to crowded areas and perhaps we should be wearing a mask even if we're not required to do so, and certainly we should wear a mask where we are required to do so like in shops for example."

"The measures are really for us to impose upon ourselves."

Dr Cortes said the government continues to look at how to handle large events, both those it organises directly and those organised by private entities, to implement measures such as testing and entry requirements, or even cancellation.

But he stressed too that the vaccination program was having a positive effect despite the rise in cases, with "very little pressure" on health services.

"The vaccination, we are seeing, does protect us from serious illness and reduces our infectivity if we have got Covid," he said, although he cautioned that many people were still unvaccinated, either through choice, necessity or age.

"So we still have to be aware and we still have to use the precautions that we've learnt from over a year-and-a-half ago."

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