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‘Terrible’ January ends with 71 dead in one month

REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi

January’s heart-breaking death toll from Covid-19 reached 71 yesterday, after another death was confirmed on Monday.

A woman aged 85 to 90 years old, who had underlying health conditions, died on January 31 of Covid pneumonitis and severe frailty.

She was the last person to die from the virus in January.

Since the pandemic began, 78 people have died from or with Covid-19: five in November last year, two in December and 71 in January.

Of the 71 cases in January, 41 were women and 30 were men.

The age range most affected was those aged 85 to 90 years, with 20 passing away from conditions relating to Covid-19 in January.

After this was the 90 to 95 age group which saw 17 deaths.

The majority were residents of Elderly Residential Services, and it has been reported over 40 have died from conditions related to Covid-19 in January.

Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said the news of another death was extremely sad, adding that his thoughts were with the family and friends of the deceased.

Mr Picardo has daily confirmed the solemn news of Covid-19 deaths on 22 separate days last month.

Just eight days in January went by with no announcements on deaths.

Almost daily, Mr Picardo has commented on the “terrible and saddening” news that has gripped this community.

This month Gibraltar saw 13 people die in one weekend, from January 16 to 17, marking the worst loss of life in over 100 years in such a short period of time. At the time the total death toll was 45.

“This terrible news on the same day as Gibraltar moves to a new stage of reduced restrictions should serve as a profound reminder to take the greatest of care,” Mr Picardo said of the latest death.

“The total number of persons we have now lost to Covid-19 in January alone is a heart breaking 71.”

“This alone should help everyone to realise that we are still in the middle of a dangerous pandemic and people must follow the rules.”

“Everyone over 70 is required by law to stay at home except for essential purposes, and Golden Hour has been re-established to enable the over 70s to exercise outside in a safe environment.”

“Whilst the law is different for the under 70s, everyone is responsible for keeping themselves and their loved ones safe.”

“Help keep the virus under control by staying at home as much as possible, wearing a mask in public, washing hands well and often, and calling 111 as soon as symptoms develop.”

“We should all take some comfort also from the good news that the administration of second doses of the vaccine against Covid-19 has begun, and this will soon offer the highest possible levels of protection to the most vulnerable in our community.”

“Until that time, please, continue to follow all the latest rules and advice.”

STATS

For the past weeks Gibraltar has grappled with the Covid-19 pandemic when cases surged over the festive period.

The past month saw cases peak at 1,209 on January 8, and despite cases decreasing Gibraltar has continued the suffer the effects of the steep rise.

On Monday active Covid-19 cases decreased to 264 and positive cases in ERS has dipped to 18.

There are currently 25 patients in the Covid-19 Ward and 11 in the Critical Care Unit.
Of the 14 new resident cases in Gibraltar on Monday, nine were close contacts of existing active cases.

There are 568 people in self-isolation and 158,566 tests have been carried out – close to five times the population.

Some 400 people have received the second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine and 12,886 have received their first dose.

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