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Govt limits swabbing at mobile stations

Pic: Johnny Bugeja

The Gibraltar Government has limited swabs to 150 a day at the Covid-19 Mobile Swabbing Station following a “significant increase” in attendances this week.

The Government explained that in order to balance the need for a rapid public screening programme with routine sampling of frontline workers and the demand from the drive-thru referrals from the 111 line, the number of tests available at Mobile Swabbing Stations will be limited to 150 per day.

It is also vital that those experiencing any symptoms of Covid-19 do not attend a Mobile Swabbing Station.

Anyone experiencing loss of taste, loss of smell, loss of appetite, persistent cough, shortness of breath, fever, a sore throat, headache, muscle aches/pains, extreme tiredness, loose bowel motions/upset tummy or any symptoms of a cold should go home immediately, self-isolate and call 111.

Everyone who is a close contact of someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 should also go home immediately, self-isolate and call 111.

The Government explained that it is important not to attend a Mobile Swabbing Station for a test in this scenario, as the virus may take up to 10 days to incubate in the body.

“This means that any test done before the 10 days self-isolation period is over might turn up a false negative, and you could spread the virus to your family and friends.”

“If you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive, please call 111 straight away and follow their advice. You will be swabbed on day 10 of your self-isolation, which is when the most accurate result will be possible.”

The Government instructed that those attending a Mobile Swabbing Station, should have no symptoms and not be a close contact of anyone who has tested positive for Covid-19.

People should go home straight away and self-isolate until they receive their result. Results will be given over the phone within 24 hours, the Government said.

“Please wear a mask when queueing at a Mobile Swabbing Station, even though you feel well,” the Government said.

“This precautionary measure is the best way to protect yourself and others from asymptomatic spread of the virus.”

The Government reiterated its advice that members of the public download the BeatCOVID mobile app and leave it running in the background.

“It is a valuable tool for contact tracers and allows users to be notified at the earliest possible opportunity if you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive.”

“It is up to all of us to act responsibly and control the spread of the virus by following the rules,” the Minister for Public Health, Dr John Cortes, said.

“This means that if you have symptoms or are a close contact of someone who has tested positive, you should go home immediately, call 111 and follow the advice of the professionals.”

“The Mobile Swabbing Stations and the BeatCOVID app are vital resources that we must use effectively and efficiently to find and stamp out the virus.”

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