A meeting was held yesterday at No 6 Convent Place to discuss the outbreak of the Wuhan Novel Coronavirus in China.

A coordinating group of Government Departments, the Royal Gibraltar Police and Gibraltar’s Essential Services has been established as a precaution to monitor the situation and prepare for any possible effects that the virus could have on Gibraltar.

During the meeting, the Director of Public Health, Dr Sohail Bhatti, briefed the group on the current state of the virus.

The Acting Chief Minister the Hon Prof John Cortes who has responsibility for Public Health, chaired the meeting, which was also attended by Minister for Civil Contingencies Samantha Sacramento and Minister for Health Paul Balban.

Advice on Coronavirus

Only people who have been to China in the last 2 weeks are considered to have any risk of catching Coronavirus. If a person who has been there in the last 14 days and has the normal symptoms of a cold, but otherwise feels well, they should stay at home, keep warm, drink plenty of fluids, and call the PCC by telephone on 20072266. They will be promptly called by one of the infection control nurses and be given advice and help appropriate to their circumstances and condition.

Going to hospital only increases the risk of spread. There are high levels of consultation at the moment for symptoms related to colds, so sitting in a waiting area only increases the risk of spread or of catching something else. People with the symptoms of a cold or flu should stay at home, keep warm and take paracetamol with a good fluid intake. Antibiotics cannot help, as they don’t work on viruses.

It appears that this disease may spread by droplets and so good hygiene with frequent hand washing will help stop its spread.