Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar is saddened to report that Gibraltar may have lost its first resident to COVID-19.
The deceased is a male, in the 55 to 60 age range. The results of a swab are awaited and a post mortem will be carried out.
The deceased had been self isolating at home after a call to 111 three days ago. He called again last night at approximately 11.45pm to say he was suffering from shortness of breath, which is a symptom of COVID. An ambulance was despatched. On arrival, he was found by paramedics to be suffering from cardiac arrest. Attempts to resuscitate at home and at A&E were unsuccessful. Symptoms suggest that this death may have been COVID related. Death appears to have occurred as a result of a cardiac arrest.
The Chief Minister, the Hon Fabian Picardo, QC MP, said: “Everyone will be heartbroken to see this cruel disease may have taken its first Gibraltarian victim, although this cannot yet be confirmed. I am greatly saddened to have to make this announcement. We will await the results of the swab test for the deceased before we are able to confirm whether or not this is a case of a death arising from or with COVID and will inform the public of the result. Every citizen must observe the rules of our lock down. Social distancing is important. It is designed to save lives and to support our GHA personnel so that they can take care of each of us who might need their care when we need it.”
No matter what the cause of death may ultimately be, the Government has said it extends its condolences and the condolences of the People of Gibraltar to the family and friends of the deceased.
[Update Saturday 4th April 2020] The swab returned a negative result, which means COVID-19 was not the cause of death. This was confirmed by Minister Licudi in a press conference held this afternoon.