Terrifying the nation is not the idea behind daily Covid-19 briefings!

Leo Olivero

After an absence of some eight or ten No 6 press briefings, the government on Sunday wheeled-out ‘Gibraltar’s very own (Coronavirus) Dr Death’ the Director of Public Health Dr Sohail Bhatti who did another excellent job, not so much in informing the community, but in ‘Grim-Creeper’ style creating great anxiety in the population, leaving, a large number of concerned and vulnerable people in total distress. And that’s no exaggeration!

Is this the manner the Government is attempting to get its Covid-19 message through, by terrifying a good part of the population?

Dr Bhatti, comes across as a decent enough individual. There are some important issues regarding his own opinion and advice passed on to the Government that we don’t all agree with, but that’s for another report!

Constant Referral to Death

But, what the good doctor appears to be good at, is his constant referral to death, and how we should all make peace with loved ones and that in his opinion, the whole of Gibraltar is also set to catch the virus. Though on Sunday, he mixed it up a bit more. Being the day of rest, Bhatti introduced into his morbid medical vocabulary ‘body bags’ and why not, just what everybody wanted to hear to contrast with the doctor’s unique style of delivering his message to the community!

I hope Dr Bhatti, did not think, we were all waiting for him to return to our tv screens after his absence, just to catch up on how many people are going to die in Gibraltar or even an explanation from him on how deadly the Coronavirus is or so far. Even though last week ‘someone jumped the gun’ so to speak, and created another mass panic in Gibraltar, by very wrongly associating the sudden death of a poor soul (may he RIP) to the coronavirus! I don’t care or believe at all, how later, that announcement was later flavoured for public consumption. It didn’t work!

People are not Ignorant of the Coronavirus Facts

I also hope, that senior front-line people like Dr Bhatti and may be some others, do not think either that the vast majority of people are ignorant about the fundamental facts regarding the virus, like how easily it spreads, and how fast people die. And the most important fact, that in a revelatory short-period of time well over 70,000 people have succumbed to the virus.

Because, of the era of technology we live in and the way news travels from across the globe 24/7 in an instant, there’s nothing much that people do not know or are going to miss. Including the fact, that so far, Gibraltar has been lucky that no one yet has died from the virus…we did not need reminding!