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Gibraltar suffers first virus death

An elderly woman living in a care home has become the first person to die of Covid-19 in Gibraltar, the government said on Wednesday.

The woman, who was in her early 90s, died of pneumonia after contracting the virus which has so far affected 842 people in this tiny British enclave on the southernmost tip of Spain.

In the past 24 hours, 28 new cases have been diagnosed, and there are 10 virus patients in hospital, including one in intensive care.

The ERS care homes network, which has counted five infections, has been placed on indefinite lockdown.

Gibraltar has managed to keep its numbers under control by adopting an aggressive track-and-trace policy, carrying out 74,672 tests — more than double its population of 34,000 people.

Despite its proximity to hard-hit Spain, which has counted nearly 1.4 million cases and close to 40,000 deaths, Gibraltar has not imposed any restrictions on its frontier which is crossed every day by some 14,000 workers.

It is also poised to ramp up its screening programme, with free tests for cross-border workers if they want them.

Although Spain is currently observing a nighttime curfew with its regions imposing ever-stricter measures to curb the virus, Gibraltar only made mask-wearing compulsory in busy areas late last month.

Gibraltar is currently on the UK’s quarantine exemption list, meaning British travellers visiting The Rock do not have to self-isolate when returning home.