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Donations to GHA virus fund top £1m

More than £1m has already been donated to the Gibraltar Health Authority to fund its fight against the spread of Covid-19, Health Minister Paul Balban revealed yesterday. 

“The generosity of the community has no bounds,” Mr Balban said adding: “I have no words to express how proud we should all be of a community that above all looks after the interests of others in such an unselfish manner.” 

“We have received donations ranging from £5 to thousands of pounds from companies, tenants associations as well as individual members of the community. We are most grateful.”

Although the Government had underlined its confidence in its ability to fund the GHA through the crisis, it had previously formalised a donation process in response to a series of spontaneous donations from members of the public. 

Mr Balban confirmed that the funds will be used specifically to help fund the GHA’s Covid-19 response including the purchase of personal protective equipment and ventilators. 

The GHA has also received numerous physical donations such as surgical masks and ventilators as well as food provisions for frontline staff. 

There were four new cases confirmed on Tuesday taking the total up to 113, of which more than half - 60 - have fully recovered. 

In respect of the random sampling exercise some 399 swabs have been taken detecting eight positive cases. There are a further 199 results pending. 

The number of tests carried out in Gibraltar is high terms of the size of the population, the Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia said yesterday. 

“The grand total of 1440 tests so far about 4.5% of the population. This is a huge sample per capita,” he said. 

“The data also shows that of 1051 tests results, 113 have come back positive.” 

But, he warned, the number of positives can spike very quickly and it is therefore important “not to lower our guard”. 

In this respect he paid tribute to the over 70s who have been on lockdown for three weeks. 

“Three weeks at home is a long time. We know that. It is not easy,” Dr Garcia said. 
“But you must understand that a real risk exists. A risk to life.” 

Addressing Gibraltar’s over 70s, he said: “Thank you for your patience. Thank you for your understanding. Thank you for paying attention.”

“You have endured lockdown for longer than any other group. And most of you are listening. You have set up new social structures. You have found new ways of communicating. Amongst yourselves with your friends; with your neighbours; and with your loved ones.” 

“Three weeks is indeed a long time. But many of you have seen worse. You have lived, through the horrors of a World War; through the trauma of a forced evacuation; through the hardship of a closed border; and through the difficulties of years of blockade. And you made the best of those hard situations. You overcame them, with typical Gibraltarian spirit.”

“And you emerged with a smile from the other end. You will do so again. When all this is over. For now, and for your own protection. Stay at home and stay safe. As Her Majesty the Queen said on Sunday, we will meet again.” 

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