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Govt confirms resident Covid case, first in weeks

Eyleen Gomez

An unvaccinated individual tested positive for Covid-19 on Saturday, becoming the first Gibraltar resident to contract the virus in almost two months of zero active cases among the local population.

A spokesman for No.6 Convent Place said the Contract Tracing Bureau is working hard to identify close contacts.

“Close contacts who are unvaccinated will be required to self-isolate for 10 days,” the Government spokesman said on Saturday.

“Close contacts who are fully vaccinated or have had Covid-19 in the past 180 days are considered casual contacts.”

“They do not need to isolate but will be required to wear a mask outside the house, practice social distancing and test on day five and day 10.”

Earlier this week, Gibraltar had zero active cases among residents and visitors for the first time since last July, but the Gibraltar Government urged continued precaution to “avoid a resurgence of Covid-19 within our community”.

“Although the vaccine rollout has allowed for a new level of normality, the hard work put in by our dedicated teams during Operation Freedom could be dismantled if we all let down our guard completely,” the Government said in a statement.
“Our community is mostly vaccinated, which puts Gibraltar at a great advantage.”

“Nevertheless our children under 16 years of age, and some others are not yet vaccinated.”

“The virus is around and present in nearby countries. Therefore, as travel restrictions begin to ease in the UK and neighbouring Spain in the next few weeks, we expect to see an influx of people that could raise transmission of COVID-19. The B.1.617.2 (Indian) strain is believed to be more transmissible than the B.1.1.7 (Kent) variant, though vaccination still seems to provide good protection.”

“Even if infection is minor, we still do not know the full impact from long-haul (Chronic) Covid.”

Members of the public are urged to continue following Public Health advice to protect themselves and others.

This includes meeting in open outdoor spaces where possible; wearing a mask, and being physically distant; maintaining some physical distance when greeting; shaking hands, kissing, hugging and close forms of endearment decrease your exposure to viruses.
Taking responsibility when hosting an event or occasion to ensure all guests are safe, with the host taking on “the obligation to and responsibility to protect others”.
People are encouraged to continue washing their hands as often as possible using soap and water or 70% alcohol gel, which will also protect from other respiratory viruses such as the “flu”.
In addition, people are asked to remain aware of those in close proximity to them. Providing honest details at a restaurant or social gathering for example, is a good way to ensure close contacts are quickly identified if an individual is contacted by Contact Tracing Bureau and downloading the BeatCovid App is also advisable.
“Local businesses and individuals are encouraged to keep up with regular swabbing to see if and how the virus develops in the coming weeks and months,” the Government spokesman added.

“Remember, even the vaccinated can still transmit the virus.”

To book a test, call 200 41818 or 111, or email rookeswabbingappointments@gha.gi

 

 

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