We are publishing an original piece today by Neville Hodgkinson, a veteran medical and science correspondent and a Lockdown Sceptics regular. He has looked at the high COVID-19 death rate in Gibraltar.
Gibraltar’s 34,000 residents are unwitting participants in the battle against COVID-19 that may hold lessons for the rest of the world – on the one hand, as a success story, and on the other, as a tragic mystery.
Since the start of a vaccination programme on January 9th, about two thirds of the tiny British enclave’s population has received the Pfizer/BioNTech jab. Only 3.5% declined it, and with a new delivery being rolled out, Dr Krish Rawal, acting Medical Director of the Gibraltar Health Authority, said this week that community protection could be close and “a normal summer” expected.
The mystery, however, is that with 83 deaths related to the disease so far, Gibraltar currently has the highest COVID-19 death rate in the world.
The first was only registered in mid-November last year. By January 6th the toll rose to 10, and by January 18th it had more than quadrupled to 45, prompting Chief Minister Fabian Picardo to tell a news conference:
“This is now the worst loss of life of Gibraltarians in over 100 years. Even in war, we have never lost so many in such a short time.“
The fact that some of these deaths occurred at the same time as the vaccine rollout led to claims on social media that the jab could be responsible, a claim denied by the Gibraltar Health Authority. In a statement issued on January 27th it said only six of those who had died at that point had received the vaccine. All but one were care home residents, and all had died for unrelated reasons.
Nevertheless, the loss of so many lives over such a short period in such a small community seems to demand explanation.
Worth reading in full.