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Over 4,200 Covid cases detected in January, but hospitalisations remain low

Photo by Eyleen Gomez

Some 4,249 positive Covid-19 cases have been detected throughout the month of January, more than double the number of cases detected last year in January 2021.

Despite the surge of cases over the past month, hospitalisations and deaths from Covid-19 have stayed low.

The spread of the Omicron variant, a milder but more transmissible variant, as well as the widespread vaccination of the population, has led to fewer cases needing hospitalisation.

Overall, last year some 6,600 cases were detected, with just over 2,000 detected in January 2021.

Last month's 4,249 positive cases marked a stark increase, with the Contact Tracing Bureau grappling with the sheer volume of calls.

January also saw the record number of active cases, with 1440 on January 28.

Over the past 31 days there has been one death from Covid-19, in comparison in January 2021 there were 77 deaths.

The Director of Public Health, Dr Helen Carter, has strongly encouraged the uptake of booster vaccinations to ward against the virus.

Unlike last year, no curfews were implemented and schools, restaurants and bars remained open.

In January, Dr Carter said her advice to keep businesses and schools open was due to Omicron variant and the booster vaccine.

“The key difference [to last year] is, yes we have a new variant that is more infectious but in the main is causing less severe disease, and we know that the booster brings protection back up to about under 90% in terms of preventing hospitalisations," Dr Carter had said.

"So that's why we are in quite a different position in terms of my Public Health advice."

Currently all cases in Gibraltar, which have been genome sequenced, are of the Omicron variant.

There are 1187 active positive cases, with 91 resident cases detected in Gibraltar on Monday.

Of these 91 cases, 34 were close contacts of an existing active case.

There are also 1,358 cases in self-isolation.

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