Covid-19 Spain

Old Mar 12, 2020, 2:44 am
  #61  
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Thursday 12th March

9:30am
Dominating the headlines today is the news that Trump has banned Europeans (except for those from the UK) from travelling to the USA because Europe didn’t prepare as well for Covid-19 as the USA has. I’m just going to leave that there and not comment further.

This is an article about what it actually means in Spain when schools close, as they have throughout Madrid and sporadically (for now) throughout the rest of the country.
https://elpais.com/espana/madrid/202...ronavirus.html
It describes how those who aren’t “main” Teachers have been affected. The contracts of cleaning staff, school dinner staff, Auxiliary Teachers who might be assisting children with Autism or other special needs, have effectively been suspended for the next 15 days and they need to apply for funds from Social Security as they are effectively unemployed for this period.
A lot of children, particularly in Madrid, are from very low incomes and their mid day meals are subsidised or paid for by the State. Education staff who work with them are extremely worried that there are a lot of vulnerable children who may not be getting adequate nutrition during this period. There are moves to try and set up emergency services to cater for them but these have not been responded to by the Authorities. My note: This is where someone like José Andrés is needed - urgently!

13:50 (CET)
Catalonia, Galicia, Murcia (from Monday - including nurseries/kindergartens), Oviedo a part of Asturias as well as the remainder of the Basque Country will join Madrid in closing schools and education centres.
https://elpais.com/sociedad/2020-03-...e-euskadi.html

This next piece is quite extraordinary and hasn’t been covered yet in the Murcian regional press
https://elpais.com/Comentario/158401...4894b7a?gla=es
Those entering Murcia from other parts of the country deemed “At Risk” (currently Madrid and the Basque Country) need to go through a 14 day quarantine period. I will try and clarify with more details later.
More details emerged in the Murcian press - as many people from Madrid have holiday homes on the Costa Calida (Murcian Coast) those that are arriving in Aguilas and La Manga, as well as other parts of Murcia, in order to wait out the crisis, they are being asked to self isolate for two weeks to lessen the chance of local transmission.
https://www.laverdad.es/murcia/comun...172656-nt.html

but those who are arriving are not complying as they should and are filling the local supermarkets and shops even if they are staying away from bars and restaurants
https://www.laverdad.es/murcia/carta...211527-nt.html

also from Murcia
https://www.laverdad.es/murcia/murci...041712-nt.html
Women’s Centres and those for older people will be closed (there are about 76 of these)
Weekend markets (these are usually outdoors, and in Murcia, which is an agriculture producing region, a major focus for commerce/grocery shopping) are to be suspended.
Museums and Cultural Centres to close as are Sports events. Only 25 people can attend weddings and civil ceremonies.
The “Queen crowning” events have also been postponed (my note - probably for longer than proposed)- these are an important part of the Bando de La Huerta, Entierro de La Sardina and other major cultural festivals which are the heart and soul of Murcian life.
A great many of the Lent processions and events have also been cancelled, here’s a link with a summary of what had been planned: https://www.regmurcia.com/servlet/s....DETALLE_EVENTO

There are currently 29 cases in Murcia - cumulatively, these are some remarkable pro-active preventative measures taking place.

Figures for Spain are 2,968 confirmed cases and 84 deaths

22:00 (CET)
Situation is getting more and more serious.
Barcelona puts 70,000 people (in four different areas) into quarantine for an indefinite period of time.
The areas within Barcelona which have to undergo the restrictions are Igualada, Vilanova del Camí, Santa Margarida de Montbui and Òdena
https://elpais.com/espana/catalunya/...ronavirus.html
The article only really gives information about Igualada as the affected cluster that triggered the blockade of the area is a hospital that has 58 confirmed cases (3 of whom are dead) and 36 of these are Health Staff. In addition to this 250 people are being kept in isolation, of which 200 are Hospital professionals. This is exactly the nightmare scenario that Spain dreads happening in any of its regions. It must be horrendous for them.
Catalonia (where Barcelona is) has a total of 319 confirmed cases, which only highlights the dreadfulness of the Igualada quarantine.
ETA - English link now available: https://english.elpais.com/society/2...nfections.html

—-
All schools and educational centres throughout Spain are to be closed.
https://elpais.com/sociedad/2020-03-...e-euskadi.html
This involves 9,552,000 students, of which: 8,217,000 are in Schools and 1,335,000 are in University.

Until the 26th March, Spain has banned all Cruise Ships (no matter their provenance) from entering Spain
(as a side note Princess Cruises has cancelled all their sailings)
https://elpais.com/Comentario/158404...42444d9?gla=es


Quite a few Politicians and councillors (including the head of the far right Vox Party) have tested positive for Covid-19 or are in self-isolation as a precaution. There’s no point listing all their names, if you knew who they were from that, it’s unlikely you’d be getting your information from me!
ETA - English link for this - https://english.elpais.com/society/2...ronavirus.html

Another account of a cluster within an old people’s residence, this time in Torrent just outside the city of Valencia.
30 registered cases here including a worker.

https://elpais.com/Comentario/158404...dfe00e8?gla=es

Ximo Puig, the President of the area of Valencia (Valencia, Alicante and Castellón) has asked all students there not to travel
https://elpais.com/Comentario/158404...84ac58c?gla=es

Current total is more than 3,142 confirmed cases and 84 deaths throughout Spain

FINAL UPDATE

This is painful reading. It is an account of the Hospitals in Madrid (which are dealing with 1,388 cases and where there have been 38 deaths) which are describing their situation as similar to being in a War Zone.
https://elpais.com/espana/madrid/202...sanitario.html
There is a tremendous effort to make at least 1,000 Intensive Care Unit Beds with ventilators in an array of places; State Hospitals, Private Hospitals, Hotels, Pavilions and Old People’s Residences. They believe that despite the difficulties in coping with the current crisis, the worst of it will be coming in about three to four weeks.

Here is the worst part of it all - they believe that the age demographic of Madrid (older average age) is different to that of Wuhan and creates a different outcome. Whereas the figures in China were 80% mild, 15% needing hospitalisation and 5% critical, what they are finding instead in Madrid is a ratio of 60% mild, 30% needing hospitalisation and 10% critical. And that is TERRIFYING.
There’s more to read, but that can be done with a translation tool if you need it.
I am actually shaking writing this. It is worse than I feared.

Last edited by LapLap; Mar 13, 2020 at 2:31 pm
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Old Mar 12, 2020, 2:55 am
  #62  
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Originally Posted by ubiest
let’s not spread in exact information, the only people banned are non-US citizens who are not US residents who have been in a Schengen state in the last 14 days. Ireland, Romania, Croatia, Turkey, etc not covered by the ban in addition to the UK
I didn’t say he has “banned all travel”, but what I said was correct - he has banned travel. I am trying, HARD, to avoid misinformation but I have never pretended that my series of summaries are exact, complete or exhaustive. And they can’t be, because even if you go to the source of that headline, what Trump said was immediately contradicted/corrected afterwards by others in the US Administration.

I have relayed the message and purposefully didn’t include a source - because even doing that is contentious. Choose your own for this news.
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Old Mar 12, 2020, 4:01 am
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Originally Posted by LapLap
I didn’t say he has “banned all travel”, but what I said was correct - he has banned travel. I am trying, HARD, to avoid misinformation but I have never pretended that my series of summaries are exact, complete or exhaustive. And they can’t be, because even if you go to the source of that headline, what Trump said was immediately contradicted/corrected afterwards by others in the US Administration.

I have relayed the message and purposefully didn’t include a source - because even doing that is contentious. Choose your own for this news.
thanks for your comment LapLap, I appreciate it. The way most media has portrayed it makes it look like travel was banned full stop. I did make my point since this is FT and these kind of details matter to our fellow travellers. Now to be sure, I read the original presidential proclamation to understand it fully.
https://www.whitehouse.gov/president...l-coronavirus/
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Old Mar 12, 2020, 4:51 am
  #64  
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Originally Posted by ubiest
. Now to be sure, I read the original presidential proclamation to understand it fully.
https://www.whitehouse.gov/president...l-coronavirus/
That original proclamation - as it was aired - fits the criteria of inexact exactly.

You have a far longer/more extensive track record on this forum of keeping tabs on and explaining Schengen and immigration rules relating to travel than I do. I’d like to stick to summarising news from the Spanish (and occasionally British) point of view, but please feel free to add whatever your own interests and expertise make you comfortable relaying and summarising.
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Old Mar 12, 2020, 10:28 am
  #65  
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Originally Posted by ubiest
thanks for your comment LapLap, I appreciate it. The way most media has portrayed it makes it look like travel was banned full stop. I did make my point since this is FT and these kind of details matter to our fellow travellers. Now to be sure, I read the original presidential proclamation to understand it fully.
https://www.whitehouse.gov/president...l-coronavirus/
In fairness, it was Donald Trump who was inexact, setting off a panic.

Here is what Trump said that made me, my son and thousands of others panic:

"To keep new cases from entering our shores, we will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days. The new rules will go into effect Friday at midnight. These restrictions will be adjusted subject to conditions on the ground. There will be exemptions for Americans who have undergone appropriate screenings, and these prohibitions will not only apply to the tremendous amount of trade and cargo, but various other things as we get approval. Anything coming from Europe to the United States is what we are discussing. These restrictions will also not apply to the United Kingdom. At the same time, we are monitoring the situation in China and South Korea, and as their situation improves, we will reevaluate the restrictions and warnings that are currently in place for a possible early opening."

I heard those words spoken in real time and sprung into action.


The fault of inexactness is traced directly to Donald Trump, not the media and certainly not LapLap.
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Old Mar 12, 2020, 11:29 am
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I have decided to leave Spain tomorrow, as I believe it is highly likely that travel is going to become much more difficult very soon and there is a high possibility of lockdowns, either here or wherever I end up afterwards, simply as a result of having been in Spain.

I have not decided where I am going yet, just that I am going to point my car towards the French border. I think, at the moment, I have a greater chance of retaining my liberty in France, at least in the short term. I just hope I'm not misjudging the situation.

For everyone else currently in Spain, I wish you luck in finding the best solution for your own personal circumstances, whether that be staying put or heading off somewhere else.
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Old Mar 12, 2020, 11:39 am
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May I also offer huge thanks to [MENTION=37887]LapLap[/MENTION] for your massively informative and very balanced contributions to this thread. I am certain that your input has helped many people to make much more informed decisions than would otherwise have been possible.
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Old Mar 12, 2020, 11:59 am
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Very best of luck, The_Bouncer. As all these ever decreasing circles tighten around you, I do hope you don’t unwittingly outflank yourself or wind up bouncing into an inescapable jam jar.
You’ve seen how even Spain can submit to measures and controls that would have seemed inconceivable a couple of weeks ago, so any country you find yourself in is very capable of unleashing (what will certainly be for freedom relishing you) unwelcome surprises.

Appreciate the thumbs up, thank you!
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Old Mar 12, 2020, 1:09 pm
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Originally Posted by LapLap
Very best of luck, The_Bouncer. As all these ever decreasing circles tighten around you, I do hope you don’t unwittingly outflank yourself or wind up bouncing into an inescapable jam jar.
You’ve seen how even Spain can submit to measures and controls that would have seemed inconceivable a couple of weeks ago, so any country you find yourself in is very capable of unleashing (what will certainly be for freedom relishing you) unwelcome surprises.

Appreciate the thumbs up, thank you!
Thanks very much. Yes, certainly these measures would have been inconceivable mere weeks ago, and I realise that these lockdowns can happen anywhere.

However, my gut feeling is that Spain is further down the Covid-19 road than France or my home country of Austria, so I have a better chance of outrunning it by heading in that direction.
​​​​
I also need to be able to make a break for the airport if the restrictions look like getting too severe, and I would rather not have to leave my car stranded in Spain if I do decide to disappear to South Africa or somewhere else.

It certainly comes to something when a person is considering fleeing Europe and heading to Africa to escape the prospect of being summarily confined. I genuinely wonder whether we have reached a watershed moment in terms of what we consider acceptable in democratic societies.
​​​​
I don't blame the Spanish for the surely impending draconian controls. They are only caught up in the same panic vortex that the rest of the world is trapped in. Spain is a lovely country and I am truly sorry that this is happening here.

I would have loved to have spent another few weeks here before returning to work, but sadly it's not to be. Goodbye Spain, see you next year when hopefully this madness has blown over.
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Old Mar 12, 2020, 1:21 pm
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Originally Posted by The_Bouncer
However, my gut feeling is that Spain is further down the Covid-19 road than France or my home country of Austria, so I have a better chance of outrunning it by heading in that direction.
I’m not going to be the person that reassures you in your expectation when it comes to France. But I have found earnest sources of information to be very helpful - even if it’s just in allowing me to stay calm and clear headed. So in that Spirit I’ll share this graph:





https://avatorl.org/covid-19/?page=CompareCountries
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Old Mar 12, 2020, 1:34 pm
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Originally Posted by LapLap
I’m not going to be the person that reassures you in your expectation when it comes to France. But I have found earnest sources of information to be very helpful - even if it’s just in allowing me to stay calm and clear headed. So in that Spirit I’ll share this graph:





https://avatorl.org/covid-19/?page=CompareCountries
I don't intend on staying in France for long. Probably just a very short night's sleep at a hotel in Perpignan. I just want to get my car parked up at home and then I can disappear at a moment's notice if (when) things get to the same level in Austria.
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Old Mar 12, 2020, 4:08 pm
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School's Out

My grand daughter is an exchange student in a small town south of Pamplona. I have just heard that her school has been closed. Apparently the students are not unhappy. If nothing else this means todays students are no different than when I was a student.
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Old Mar 12, 2020, 4:27 pm
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Originally Posted by ned
My grand daughter is an exchange student in a small town south of Pamplona. I have just heard that her school has been closed. Apparently the students are not unhappy. If nothing else this means todays students are no different than when I was a student.
If you’d like to know more about the closures in Pamplona, you can feed this link into a translation website

https://www.diariodenavarra.es/notic...3988-1702.html

It’s from the local paper from that area - El Diario de Navarra. Navarra is part of the Basque region but Castilian Spanish is commonly spoken as a first language in that particular region. Even though I have no links to Navarra (except as an occasional visitor), I have a real soft spot for their local paper, it’s one of my favourites of the Spanish regional press.
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Old Mar 13, 2020, 4:59 am
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Friday 13th March

The figures of confirmed cases in Spain and what they imply is going to change radically from now on.

Madrid will no longer test individuals who they suspect have Covid-19. Instead tests will only be administered on affected people who were ill in order to clear and release them from hospital once they have recovered.
This means that the last figures we have for Spain that maintain the same relevance as before are
For Spain: 3,004 and 84 deaths

and for Madrid itself nearly 2,000 with 40 deaths

So even if the rest of Spain doesn’t initially follow this same protocol, because the Madrid cases are such a significant percentage of the country’s total, it will be very different as from later today and tomorrow.

Within Madrid there are currently 190 patients in intensive care. This may well be how severity will be gauged from today. From yesterday’s information, we know that Madrid are making supreme efforts to have 1,000 intensive care units (beds) available, so many decisions will be made to prevent an accumulation of cases of patients needing Intensive Care that surpasses this figure. Again, this is just for Madrid.

https://elpais.com/sociedad/2020-03-...nfirmados.html

62 countries are currently forbidding entry to travellers from or who have been in Spain.
https://elpais.com/sociedad/2020-03-...de-espana.html

From today, Madrid has suspended the licences for terraces and the open air areas of restaurants. And although outright bans have not yet been imposed, recommendations have been given for bars to close as well as a plea to the public not to move around/travel unnecessarily or congregate in large numbers.

All the children’s play areas in public parks have been closed.
https://elpais.com/espana/madrid/202...los-bares.html

I was going to summarise more about this article about the closures in Madrid, but there’s no need as it has been published in English
https://english.elpais.com/society/2...us-spread.html

14:45 (CET)
Having considered “gradualism” as an approach yesterday, the Spanish government have instead decided to go in a very different direction and are preparing to make an announcement about the country entering a “State of Alarm”
El Pais thinks that the following are potential outcomes:
Limitar la circulación o la permanencia de personas o vehículos en horas y lugares determinados; practicar requisas temporales de todo tipo de bienes e imponer prestaciones personales obligatorias; intervenir y ocupar transitoriamente industrias, fábricas, talleres, explotaciones o locales de cualquier naturaleza, con excepción de domicilios privados; limitar o racionar el uso de servicios o el consumo de artículos de primera necesidad; e impartir las órdenes necesarias para asegurar el abastecimiento de los mercados y el funcionamiento de los servicios de los centros de producción de los productos de primera necesidad.

Limit the movement of people or vehicles at specific times and places;

practice temporary commandeerment of all kinds of goods and impose mandatory personal loans;

intervene and temporarily take charge of industries, factories, workshops, farms or premises of any kind, with the exception of private homes;

limit or ration the use of services or the consumption of basic necessities;


and issue the necessary orders to ensure the supply of the markets and the ensure production centres of essential products remain operational.

https://elpais.com/espana/2020-03-13...de-alarma.html


3pm (CET)
Spain has declared a State of Alarm for the next 15 days
This gives the Government the authority to implement extraordinary measures (like those listed in the previous update) during this time.
An article has been prepared in English which gives more information
https://english.elpais.com/politics/...us-spread.html

Murcia is clamping down on quarantine offences, the Murcian districts of Cartagena, San Javier, San Pedro del Pinatar, Los Alcázares, La Unión, Mazarrón and Águilas are under containment orders. President of Murcia, Fernando López Miras, laments the irresponsibility of the arrivals from Madrid who view a 15 day quarantine as an excuse for a beach holiday for making these orders necessary. About 375,000 people have been affected.
https://elpais.com/sociedad/2020-03-...ronavirus.html
although the main local Murcian paper reports that closer to 500,000 people have been confined to their local neighbourhoods
https://www.laverdad.es/murcia/coron...131957-nt.html

Have been having conversations with family in Spain (in the city of Alicante and nearby San Vicente). They’ve seen the same problems Murcia has had with irresponsible Madrileños ignoring self-isolation directives as they enjoy their bonus heatwave holiday on the coast.
The products missing from the supermarket shelves include toilet paper (of course), wheat flour and cans of tomatoes. There have been jokes about how a few aunts and uncles will be fine as long as they keep their spectacles off and don’t peer at the expiry dates on the tins at the backs of their cupboards.

The current given figures for Spain are 4,200 confirmed cases and 120 deaths.
Given the decision about Madrid testing explained earlier, this may well under-represent what was already an unavoidably under-represented figure.

Gandía (a small coastal city between Alicante and Valencia) on noticing a surge in occupation of holiday residences after the closure of Madrid’s schools, has decided to close the main beaches to deter tourism and to prevent any sense that this is a normal holiday week. Usually this would be the start of the holiday season with life guards, bars and other beach services commencing, but the local Authorities want to show that this is not a normal time, and to encourage the visitors from Madrid - who had been told not to undertake unnecessary travel and avoid being in groups but travelled to the coast anyway - to behave responsibly by example rather than by giving orders.
https://elpais.com/sociedad/2020-03-...ronavirus.html

6:45pm (CET)
In Andalucia
The Alhambra of Granada, The Mosque of Córdoba and the Royal Alcázar of Seville have all stopped selling entry tickets.
Only the Cathedral of Seville has kept its doors open
https://elpais.com/cultura/2020-03-1...ronavirus.html

The Seat, Renault and Nissan Car Factories are all suspending their operations
https://elpais.com/economia/2020-03-...-a-nissan.html

The cinemas throughout Spain are closing
https://elpais.com/cultura/2020-03-1...n-rodajes.html

Within the hospitals of Murcia it has been announced that all non-urgent surgery will be postponed and the least urgent procedures will be cancelled.

All leave and holidays for medical staff has been annulled.
There are about 40 Health staff undergoing quarantine at the moment and the entire wing of one hospital has been temporarily closed (this is surprising when one considers that there are only two hospitalised Covid-19 patients in the region)
https://www.laverdad.es/murcia/hospi...114517-nt.html

Valencia
From tonight all bars, restaurants, cafés, discotheques, reunion and party halls, cinemas, theatres (any auditorium with fixed sears), any outdoor events or shows, fun fairs, amusement parks, Sports events, swimming pools, gymnasiums, etc, etc. will be closed throughout the region of Valencia (which includes Alicante - where Benidorm is - and Castellón)
https://www.diarioinformacion.com/al...t/2244679.html

9pm (CET)
CATALONIA HAS JUST BEEN PUT INTO LOCKDOWN - or rather steps are being taken to implement it
The army has just been brought in to enforce it
https://elpais.com/sociedad/2020-03-...n-directo.html

Galicia has taken similar measures to Valencia closing all pubs, restaurants, sports facilities and leisure venues
https://www.lavozdegalicia.es/notici...1140606991.htm

Andalucia is currently investigating orders to confine or put into lockdown defined areas within the region
https://www.diariosur.es/andalucia/j...193311-nt.html

Current figures for Spain are 4,505 confirmed cases and 121 deaths

For Madrid it is 2,659 positives y 89 deaths

midnight - last update

last figures for today are over 5,100 confirmed cases and 132 deaths

Last edited by LapLap; Mar 13, 2020 at 5:46 pm
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Old Mar 13, 2020, 4:43 pm
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Does anyone have an up to date analysis of what is happening in Mallorca please? I am due to fly there for a weeks holiday tomorrow morning early and am totally unsure whether to go or not.
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