The GSD notes that the British Government have declared the Coronavirus a “serious and imminent threat to public health” and their intention to introduce regulations to deal with the spread of the virus. The UK will be strengthening its laws to keep individuals in supported isolation for their own safety and that of the British public if health professionals consider that there is a risk of spreading the virus to other members of the public. The World Health Organisation Director General also said yesterday that: “for now it’s only a spark…We call on all countries to use the window of opportunity to prevent a bigger fire” This points to the urgent need of a public health strategy to deal with any case in Gibraltar which in a confined space and with intensely urban areas can spread quickly. An area for possible isolation needs to be identified now as part of that strategy which is removed from heavily populated areas
The GSD calls on the Government to reassure the public and confirm it has in place advanced plans to isolate and contain the spread of the virus in Gibraltar. Shadow Minister for Health Elliott Phillips MP said: “Whilst the Government have responded to our previous call for increased information to be provided to members of the public they have not disclosed what measures they have put in place to isolate and contain suspected and confirmed cases” Mr Phillips went on to say: “We must now accept that the serious and imminent risk to public health in Britain presented by the spread of the virus outside China’s borders coupled with the two week incubation period of the virus will at some stage impact on our community”. The Government must now specifically state what facilities are at our disposal for the supported isolation of suspected and confirmed cases of the virus on our shores.