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GHA reduces alert status to Amber

Pic: Johnny Bugeja

The Gibraltar Health Authority has reduced the alert and readiness status of all GHA sites to Amber/Substantial on Monday after almost eight weeks of high alert, but visitors will not be allowed in just yet.

As Gibraltar eases out of the Covid-19 lockdown, cases have continued to decline and so have hospital admissions.

In response the GHA has reduced its alert and readiness from Red or Black at the height of the surge.

This means that some priority surgeries, interventions and investigations can be restarted once again.

“It is a difficult and fine balance between unlocking to allow patients back in to GHA services, which we are exceedingly keen to do, while also maintaining a cautious approach and not acting too soon while there are still cases in the community,” the Minister for Health, Samantha Sacramento, said.

“It is with regret that at this time we cannot yet allow visitors back in to GHA premises, but this will be under close and regular review and we will do our utmost to allow visitors as soon as possible.”

Restrictions to some elective surgeries and outpatient activity remain for the time being but will be reviewed regularly and frequently with a view to restarting these as soon as possible, a spokesman for the Government added.

A Substantial organisational threat level means that annual leave for GHA staff can now be permitted, allowing hard working and exhausted staff some time to recover and spend time with family.

While a Substantial threat level would ordinarily allow for a return of visitors to GHA sites, the decision has been made to remain closed to visitors for at least the next two weeks, with a review on March 1, 2021.

“This is to allow time to observe any increase or spike in cases now that schools have reopened and some community spread of the Covid-19 virus is expected,” the spokesman added.

Clinical services are now able to plan for and gradually resume activity along with allowing some GHA staff leave.

“I am delighted to be able to relax the readiness state of the GHA so we can look forward to restarting clinical activity and giving our teams some very well-deserved time off,” Dr Krishna Rawal, Acting Medical Director, said.

“This must be carefully managed to ensure that we slowly restart services while keeping a very close eye on positive cases in the community and admissions to hospital.”

 

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