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Spike in Covid-19 cases, but hospitalisation remains low

Jon Nazca/REUTERS

The number of Covid-19 cases in Gibraltar has spiked over the past two days, according to Gibraltar Government data, though hospitalisations remain low.

On Tuesday the government said 37 cases had been detected, the highest daily number after several weeks of a steady flow of new infections.

On Wednesday, government data showed 48 new cases had been detected in the preceding 24 hours.

That brought the number of active cases of Covid-19 in Gibraltar on Wednesday to 268, three of them visitors. A further 322 people were in self-isolation.

Despite the rise, the Rock’s vaccination program meant most people were recovering at home.

On Wednesday there were five people in the Covid-19 ward in St Bernard’s Hospital and none in the critical care unit.

Of the 48 new cases reported on Wednesday, 30 were vaccinated individuals and 17 were unvaccinated, the latter mostly children. All but one were resident in Gibraltar.

One other person, a visitor, had an unknown vaccinated status.

The government said 21 of the 46 new resident cases detected on Wednesday were close contacts of an existing active case.

The jump in cases came as Gibraltar received another batch of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, delivered to the Rock on an RAF transport plane as with previous shipments.

As of Wednesday some 93 people had received a third dose of the vaccine, which is being offered to individuals who were severely immunocompromised at the time of their first and second doses.

Evidence suggests these individuals may not have mounted a sufficient antibody response to the first two doses, the government said.

In six months’ time, these individuals will also be offered a booster.

A further 11,771 people had received a booster jab.

Figures in the Campo de Gibraltar are also up, though the prevalence of the virus is much lower than in Gibraltar.

With a population of just over 270,000 people across the Campo municipalities, data from the Junta de Andalucia showed there were 85 active cases across all Campo cities and towns on Wednesday.

In La Linea, which has a population of just under 64,000 people, the number of active cases stood at 39.

Among them was La Linea mayor Juan Franco, who revealed in short video post on Facebook that he had tested positive.

Mr Franco stressed the need for continued caution.

“I insist, the virus is still out there and we have to continue taking safety measures,” he said.

“Use masks, sanitiser gels and keep social distance.”

“I hope that we can come out of this nightmare soon.”

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