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Sharp decline in positive cases detected, as CM poised to deliver Covid update

Stephen Ignacio

Monday saw the lowest overnight increase in positive Covid-19 cases in a fortnight with just three new cases detected, bringing the total figure down to 120 active cases.

The number of active cases dropped to the lowest in a week after 16 people recovered from Covid-19 in 24 hours.

The slight drop in new cases comes as Chief Minister Fabian Picardo is set to brief Gibraltar today at 4pm in a televised and live-streamed press conference from No.6 Convent Place.

The Government resumed virtual meetings of the Cabinet on Monday morning in view of the recent increase in the number of cases of Covid-19, which saw over 100 positive cases detected last week.

And in another development, the number of cases of Covid-19 in Gibraltar’s Elderly Residential Services rose by eight over the weekend to reach 13 currently.

Last week, the Gibraltar Government announced it was locking down ERS facilities and stopping family visits after three positive cases were detected among elderly residents, rising to five by Friday. Five members of staff had also tested positive.

The number of cases in ERS facilities has since increased, with 13 residents now having tested positive for the virus, a Gibraltar Government spokesman told the Chronicle.

There are also now 11 members of staff at ERS who have tested positive, and a further 27 are in isolation, the spokesman added.

The lockdown of ERS facilities was announced last Monday by the Chief Minister, who said his government had taken the decision “with a heavy heart”.

“I know how painful it will be to be prevented from seeing loved ones in ERS,” Mr Picardo said at the time.

“I can only apologise to you for having no choice but to impose this restriction.”

“It is administratively burdensome for the nurses and carers as many family members are the best carers of their relatives.”

"But we really have no choice.”

“In ERS, the reality is we are dealing with a matter of life and death for the residents in our care if we do not act, and we will not let them down by not acting.”

Mr Picardo said the restriction would be in place for no longer than was strictly necessary, urging relatives of residents to support the staff at ERS to help them provide the necessary care and response.

As of Monday, there were seven people in the Covid-19 ward in St Bernard’s Hospital and one in the critical care unit.

A further 635 people were in self-isolation and 532 people had recovered from Covid-19.

A total of 62,269 Covid-19 tests have been carried out, including 18,091 tests carried out on frontline personnel as part of targeted, systematic sampling.

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