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‘Devastating’ weekend as Gibraltar loses 13 people in two days to Covid-19

Photo by Jon Nazca/REUTERS

Gibraltar recorded another 13 Covid-related deaths over a “devastating” weekend that drove the death toll to 43 since the start of the pandemic.

During the past week alone, 27 people have passed away either as a direct result of the virus or while infected with it.

Nine Covid-related deaths were recorded on Sunday, the worst in a single day since the public health crisis almost a year ago.

The stark data was confirmed by the Gibraltar Government in its latest Covid update on Sunday, as Chief Minister Fabian Picardo confirmed he would address the community in a live press conference from No.6 Convent Place at 4pm on Monday.

Mr Picardo described the latest developments as “harrowing”, adding he himself lost a relative and friends in recent days.

All but three of those who died this weekend were in the care of the Elderly Residential Services, where there were still 130 active cases of Covid-19 on Sunday.

Those who died included six women and four men, the youngest in their early 70s, the eldest in their late 90s. All were recorded as being deaths from Covid-19.

Two men and woman who were not in the care of ERS also died this weekend from complications arising from Covid-19, including a man in his late 60s.

“The death toll is growing at an intolerable rate both in terms of those resident in ERS and those in the hospital on arrival from the community,” Mr Picardo said on Sunday.

“Personally I have lost friends, work colleagues, supporters and relatives in three days.”

“I know that many others also share this deep sense of loss and my thoughts are with everyone who has lost a loved one at this difficult time.”

“It is just devastating at a human level.”

“Our vaccination programme brings us hope but we need to work together to see away these dark days.”

“Accept the vaccine when the GHA offer it to you.”

“For now, stay home unless it is absolutely necessary and keep at our tried and tested methods of keeping the virus away from you and your loved ones.”

“Wash your hands, wear a mask, call 111 as soon as you notice symptoms.”

“Together we will pull through.”

And as the Chief Minister shared the sad news on his social media, Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya sent a message of support to Gibraltar.

The latest deaths were reported as the number of new Covid-19 infections fell over the weekend compared to the preceding days and more people recovered from the virus, offering at least a slim ray of hope against the backdrop of tragic news.

On Saturday, 62 new active cases were recorded, dropping to 33 on Sunday.

Another 101 people recovered from the virus on Sunday, bringing the total number of recoveries since the start of the pandemic to 2689.

The number of active cases in Gibraltar stood at 791 on Sunday and there were 1628 in self-isolation.

There were 35 people being cared for in the Covid wards at St Bernard’s Hospital and another 10 in the critical care unit.

The latest information was released as Gibraltar continued apace with its vaccination program.

To date, a total of 5,847 people have received their first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

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