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2nd April 2020, 10:46

Covid-19 may have claimed its first life in Gibraltar, a man aged 57

Gibraltar may have had its first Covid-19 death - a 57 year old man who had been determined as 'high risk'. His death appears to have been from cardiac arrest. A post mortem is being carried out and a Coroner's investigation will determine the cause of death.

The man had been self-isolating at home for over three weeks after displaying mild symptoms - a cough and a runny nose. He called 111 three days ago, and called again just before midnight on Wednesday, saying he was short of breath. An ambulance was dispatched, and on arrival, paramedics found him to be suffering from cardiac arrest.

Attempts to resuscitate him at home and at A&E were unsuccessful. The Government says symptoms suggest that this death may have been COVID related. The results of a swab, carried out this morning are awaited, and a post-mortem will be carried out. At Thursday's afternoon's press conference, the Chief Minister said it had not been decided yet whether any protocols would be changed as a result of this incident.

The Acting Medical Director said he was confident the 111 protocols had been carried out according to the guidelines set out by Public Health England. He said the man's symptoms had been mild, and he was being given the right advice. He said the disease can progress rapidly, but added that the ambulance arrived at the man's home just ten minutes after the call was received.

Dr Rawal said the Coroner's investigation will be conducted over the next couple of days, and will examine the medical notes of the patient including what happened during the night.

The Chief Minister said he was in no doubt that it was important to communicate this information to the public at the first possible opportunity. He said it had been his decision to release the information, and said he would not be sugarcoating information.

There are now 88 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Gibraltar, with 42 of them active, and 363 results pending. 46 patients have fully recovered.