by Chief Minister Fabian Picardo

This afternoon I am going to give you the updated statistics on the progress of the COVID-19 pandemic through our Community and I am then going to address the issue of the first death which we are advised may have arisen from the disease.

I am then going to deal with issues related to Elderly Residential Services and also with additional legislation on which we will be consulting with Opposition colleagues. I’ll then also deal with matters relating to business and our BEAT COVID Measures.


So, as of today, the latest information available to me is that there have been a total of 979 tests carried out.

Of the 616 results received so far, we have:

Confirmed Cases: 88

Recovered Cases: 46

Active Cases: 42

We have 363 results pending.


Unfortunately, this morning Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar was saddened to report that Gibraltar may have lost its first resident to COVID-19. The deceased is a male, in the age range of 55 to 60. He was in the high-risk category and had been self-isolating in his home of over 3 weeks.He was doing so in keeping with the public health advice that is provided generally.The results of a swab awaited and a post mortem is being carried out to determine the exact cause of death.The deceased had contacted 111 three days ago when he was advised to continue at home.

It appears an earlier call from the deceased may have been logged on 23 March, also. He called 111 again last night at approximately 11.45pm to say he was suffering from shortness of breath, which is a symptom of COVID-19.

An ambulance was despatched. On arrival, he was found by paramedics to be in cardiac arrest. Attempts to resuscitate at home and at A&E proved unsuccessful. Symptoms are very suggestive that this death may have been COVID related. Death appears to have occurred as a result of the cardiac arrest.

I know everyone in our community will be heartbroken to see this cruel disease may have taken its first Gibraltarian victim, although I want to emphasise that this cannot yet be confirmed as a death from COVID. I am greatly saddened to have to make this announcement. We will await the test result of the swab for the deceased before we are able to confirm whether or not this is a case of a death arising from or with COVID-19 and we will inform the public of the result.

No matter what the cause of death may ultimately be determined to be, the Government extends its condolences and the condolences of the People of Gibraltar to the family of the deceased.I will leave all matters related to the medical care of the deceased to Dr Rawal. I cannot tell you now whether the circumstances around this death will change our procedures in any way, if it is confirmed that this death is COVID related.

We are of course learning every day how best to react and there is no exact science on how best to address this virus and the issues it creates for our community.

I will tell you however, that I am satisfied that it was our obligation to communicate our concern that this case may be related to a death with COVID-19 as soon as we become aware of that. I want to thank the family for their understanding in this respect and the additional information that they have provided to the Government for publication.

Because given the prevailing Public Health Emergency, I am not going to sugar-coat information or keep anything from you. Right now we are not attributing this death to COVID-19. We are saying it may be attributable to COVID-19, subject to a post mortem and other tests.That is the reality though.And that is why I decided that you needed to know as soon as we had that concern. You will get all necessary information from us. Whether it is good news or bad news.But you will hear it from us. And we will work for you to trust us, so that you will hear all reliable information from us.

Of the tests results announced I am concerned to have to report to you that 2 of the 3 residents moved to isolation at Hillside are COVID positive. he result of the third resident is still pending. We are awaiting test results for that resident also. This is very concerning. I am seeking to further tightening of controls at ERS if that is possible.But I can tell you, that I have full confidence in the work that is being done in those at the ERS facilities under the leadership of Dr Antonio Marin and Susan Baglietto I consider their work is second to none. We all have to understand that our world is upside down because there are no guarantees when it comes to COVID-19.