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Multi-agency exercise to test coronavirus preparedness

Coronavirus sign at Gibraltar International Airport. Pic: Johnny Bugeja

The Gibraltar Government will today hold a multi-agency exercise that will test the Rock’s preparedness to deal with any cases of coronavirus should these be detected here.
The exercise is purely for planning and readiness purposes, the Government said, adding that there will be no disruption to the public.
It will involve table-top strategic co-ordination, as well as a practice patient transfer to an isolation facility at the hospital via ambulance.
“Any increase in blue-light activity should not be a cause of public concern,” the Government said in a statement.
There are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Gibraltar to date, although six people have been tested for the disease. All six tests came back negative.
The Government said it is erring on the side of caution and is ensuring that all necessary precautions are being taken under the advice of Public Health professionals.

UN: ‘VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION’
The latest developments came as the UN secretary general said the coronavirus outbreak that began in China "is not out of control but it is a very dangerous situation".
Speaking in an interview with the Associated Press, Antonio Guterres said: "The risks are enormous and we need to be prepared worldwide for that."
He added that a spread of the virus to countries with "less capacity in their health service" would require a great deal of international solidarity.
Egypt recently reported its first case of the virus, raising fears of its spread to the African continent.
The outbreak has infected more than 73,000 people globally. The World Health Organisation has named the illness Covid-19, referring to its origin late last year and the coronavirus that causes it.
China on Tuesday reported 1,886 new cases and 98 more deaths, raising the number of deaths in mainland China to 1,868 and the total number of confirmed cases to 72,436.
Travel to and from the worst-hit central China region was associated with the initial cases of Covid-19 confirmed abroad, but Japan, Singapore and South Korea have identified new cases without clear ties to China or previously known patients, raising concern of the virus spreading locally.
A report saying the disease outbreak has caused mild illness in most people raised optimism among global health authorities.
The UN chief was in Pakistan for a conference on 40 years of refugees fleeing neighbouring war-torn Afghanistan.
Earlier in his four-day visit, Mr Guterres called on other countries to support Pakistan and show similar leadership in handling refugee flows in south Asia and around the world.