Covid-19 Spain

Old Feb 25, 20, 3:58 pm
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Covid-19 Spain

The Ministry of Health has just announced their forceful recommendation that only vital trips to Northern Italy, Iran, South Korea, Singapore, Japan and China are undertaken.
https://elpais.com/sociedad/2020/02/...49_567923.html

Reason I’m posting here is that there are strict protocols now in place for anybody who has been to any of these areas and develops respiratory symptoms.
These protocols also kick in if you have associated with or been in contact with someone else who has been to these areas, and also if you have shared space (within two metres or so) of someone who has. I am not sure how airlines will react if you miss a return flight due to these protocols and regulations.

Reading other articles about Spain, my interpretation is that there is concern within the Health Services that Covid-19 cases are not emerging in the way they have in other parts of Europe, and in order to establish whether it is actually present in Spain there is currently a drive to harvest samples from known flu cases to see if cases exist that have not yet been identified. In other words, they’ve made the decision to go looking under rocks knowing that they may not like what they find.
https://elpais.com/sociedad/2020/02/...56_000638.html (Spanish)

https://english.elpais.com/society/2...pneumonia.html (English)
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Last edited by LapLap; Feb 25, 20 at 4:18 pm Reason: Add link
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Old Feb 28, 20, 3:32 pm
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Don't forget possible hassles after visiting. Developed influenza-like sympyoms shortly after returning from Sevilla. Nurses at the clinic were significantly wary of my travel history to Spain. Referred by family doctor to get a coronavirus test at the local hospital. Currently waiting for said test...
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Old Feb 29, 20, 6:07 am
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Since the first post in this thread (when there were less than half a dozen confirmed cases in Spain) there are now approaching 50.

There are no plans to suspend the next major festival in Valencia in two weeks (Las Fallas). I suspect there will be large changes implemented soon after this (March 19th) if not before.
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Old Feb 29, 20, 6:14 am
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Originally Posted by Schweden View Post
Don't forget possible hassles after visiting. Developed influenza-like sympyoms shortly after returning from Sevilla. Nurses at the clinic were significantly wary of my travel history to Spain. Referred by family doctor to get a coronavirus test at the local hospital. Currently waiting for said test...
Hopefully the Spanish authorities haven't been too mistaken about how established Covid-19 was in Spain when you visited. Even now they seem to have uncovered very few cases of local transmission (the majority of what they have found so far involved visits elsewhere). I hope this means you are unlikely to have the virus, but if you do I trust your own health service will advise the Spanish of what happened, it would be of great concern to them.
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Old Feb 29, 20, 9:56 am
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Having said that, turns out there is a case of an Ecuadorean who appears to have picked up Covid-19 in Spain, she seems to be the first documented example of “local” transmission.
https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2020...sultPosition=6

It first popped up in El Pais’ news feed about 50 minutes ago, but this NY Times article had already been published, has its own page and is in English.
Numbers of those affected in Spain are now officially over 50.
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Old Mar 1, 20, 4:16 am
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Number of confirmed cases is at 73 this morning, which is close to what Italy had recorded last week. I suspect Britain will be at this same point in a few more days. (ETA - Britain reached this point on the 4th/5th March)
https://elpais.com/sociedad/2020/02/...3.html?rel=mas

Am going to record a snapshot the situation in Torrejón (which is where the Ecuadorean lady - who is now very ill - lived). They know there was transmission going on there a couple of weeks ago but by the 28th Feb was already starting to have a profound impact on health services :
https://elpais.com/sociedad/2020-02-...a-llamado.html

Having uncovered evidence of local transmission and identified more infections, the services in Torrejón are already struggling to cope. Information is not being disseminated as effectively as was hoped, and those protocols themselves are being changed and updated.
https://elpais.com/sociedad/2020-02-...-expertos.html

I don’t have any views or predictions on what is happening or about to occur, but I do find that taking in information from different places helps me widen my own expectations and let go of some useless pre-conceptions (many of which I didn’t realise I had)

Last edited by LapLap; Mar 5, 20 at 2:59 am
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Old Mar 1, 20, 4:24 am
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I am currently in Southern Andalusia, and there is absolutely no panic here. Business as usual.
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Old Mar 1, 20, 10:38 am
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No panic in Valencia. Business as usual there too
https://www.elmundo.es/comunidad-val...f3b8b4666.html
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Old Mar 2, 20, 5:52 am
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120 confirmed cases in Spain today.
https://elpais.com/sociedad/2020-03-...n-directo.html
This will climb higher as some of the Torrejón examples are members of a close religious grooup.

And in Valencia it’s party time every single day until the 19th March.
Here’s a snapshot from yesterday, this was a typical scene throughout the day and well into the night (it’s actually the part where the crowd thins out, there will be many streets like this radiating out from a concentrated central hub where the mascleta is positioned)
Source: https://www.elperiodicodeaqui.com/ep...navirus/204322

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Old Mar 3, 20, 7:36 am
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Revised number today is 150
https://elpais.com/sociedad/2020-03-...n-directo.html
13 of these are healthcare workers.
Out of the 150 known cases, about 7 are in severe/critical condition.

In the Basque area, at least 100 health care workers are under quarantine, anecdotally, it appears that at least 30 of these are intern medics
https://elpais.com/sociedad/2020-03-...ronavirus.html

Just as elsewhere, Spain is finding that healthcare workers on the frontline are particularly vulnerable to Covid-19. This will have profound implications to how services will cope in the coming weeks.
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Old Mar 3, 20, 3:16 pm
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First death has been recorded. This was in Valencia on the 13th February, before the directive on the 27th February to actively look for Covid-19 in patients who had or had had pneumonia.
The deceased would have not been tested back then as he didn’t fall within the screening protocols, he was 69 and had no underlying health problems. Not so long before becoming ill he had been in Nepal, a country that, at this point, has only registered one case. All health workers that had contact with him are being screened presently.
https://elpais.com/sociedad/2020-03-...ronavirus.html

The tally of confirmed cases has been adjusted again today - currently over 160

It’s proving difficult to contain the virus in Torrejón (near Madrid) and Vitoria (Basque country).

There have been additional measures introduced to combat onward transmission, these involve Sports competitions involving International teams. Personally, I find it hard to take these measures seriously when the festivities in Valencia are ongoing. Only thing that stopped any of the Fallas events yesterday was high winds.
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Old Mar 4, 20, 7:47 am
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There is hardly any mention of it in the part of Spain where I currently am. No masks, no panic buying, no event cancellations, nothing. People are just getting on with their lives.
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Old Mar 4, 20, 7:51 am
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Current number of confirmed cases is 202 - as far as El Pais can make it (they have to gather details from each region)
https://elpais.com/sociedad/2020-03-...n-directo.html

Updating today’s number of cases - 220.
And a report of the death (2nd) of an 82 year old male with pre-existing chronic illnesses in the Basque region.

EDIT TO ADD - should have included this info in this post (particularly as the last FTer to post is affected by this)
As well as those who have been in China, Singapore and Italy, Israel is now mandating a 15 day quarantine for travellers from Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria as well as Spain.
https://elpais.com/Comentario/158333...1574501?gla=es

Last edited by LapLap; Mar 5, 20 at 2:33 am
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Old Mar 5, 20, 12:45 am
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Spain’s response, whilst being guided centrally, is still (for now) determined by each of its regions.
I think a lot is about to happen and I never meant this thread to be an exhaustive, thorough account, just a summary of key points that could be looked at retroactively so that whatever happens isn’t too bewildering in the days to come. Spain has an outstanding health service, one that many of us are fiercely proud of. But it also has a painful bureaucracy and social issues (with vastly different flavours depending on which part of the country you are from, and even which Spanish language you speak). Amidst this are violently felt attitudes towards censorship and control that still linger as a response to the Franco era. But as I said - a summary of key points. Which takes me to:

There are big changes starting today, I’ll just make a start now as a major turning point has been reached. Madrid (following protocols for this used worldwide) has decided that with at least 76 local cases, it is leaving the “containment” phase and entering the “delay” phase and new policies are being drawn up. The Madrid Health authorities have been particularly spooked by what they have seen in Vitoria (Basque region) where huge swathes of health care workers can be removed for extended periods from the front line drastically reducing key services.

Madrid’s response has been to introduce what are viewed as draconian measures to health care personnel, severely curtailing their freedoms by limiting their movement abroad, around the country, to events, concerts and attending conferences and/or meetings with other health care providers around the country. Meetings with visiting professionals are also being discouraged if not prevented outright. These are not measures taken lightly in Spain.
https://elpais.com/espana/madrid/202...ronavirus.html
Again, within Madrid, the medical helplines dedicated to Covid-19 have taken about 5,000 related calls within the past week. Initially tests took about 5-6 hours, then the service was overwhelmed and there were delays (of about 24 hours) before another laboratory came into action. Covid-19 tests within the Madrid area take about 12 hours now.

10:45am (CET) - 2nd update
Now that Spain is entering the mitigation phase, (I was wrong about this point - see 5th update) further measures to protect key personnel are being introduced/implemented. As well as health care staff, plans for the Police are pending (if not already in progress) and protocols are being enacted now with regards to Airport workers, particularly those in control towers as the measures to protect transport networks start to kick in.
https://www.lavanguardia.com/vida/20...-policias.html
There are still no restrictions on mass cultural events for everyone else and no plans to close schools/universities.

11:45 (CET) - 3rd update (this will actually affect a lot of English speakers in Spain)
https://www.diarioinformacion.com/al...s/2241674.html
There are reports in Alicante of hospitals placing severe restrictions on patient visitors, it seems this is being done/will be done throughout the country. Although this is an understandable and logical progression to the measures described previously, it will have a profound impact on visitors to Spain.
What isn’t discussed is how, say, a family with a parent in hospital would be affected as the second parent may not be allowed to see their interned partner if they have children with them. Also not discussed is the question of an interpreter being granted access. The implications are worth thinking about, particularly as they are not restricted to those with (or suspected to have) Covid-19.

5:30pm (CET) - 4th update
Madrid has just released news that at least 10 15 residents of an old people’s home have been infected as well as an auxiliary nurse.
https://elpais.com/Comentario/1583424139-6f21ab7c36652c9e4cdcb030acf119fc?gla=es
https://elpais.com/sociedad/2020-03-05/ancianos-de-una-residencia-de-mayores-de-madrid-infectados-con-el-coronavirus.html

The total of National cases has reached 250.

6:00pm (CET) - 5th update
So whilst Madrid itself had decided to move from “containment” to “delay” measures, Spain as a nation has not made that step. What that suggests to me is that the division into Regional Authorities dictates how cases are measured and acted upon. So the Madrid area is in the delay phase as it has over 70/80 cases but other regions will still see themselves, presumably, as areas capable of independent containment. Am horrified by this, but it is fascinating. As a policy it will allow more leeway for many of the regions with lower tallies for a few more days - and seeing what Valencia is capable of, that is rather disturbing.

I wonder what will be the tipping point for Spain as a whole to move into the delay phase - will all 17+ Autonomous Regions have to have at least 70 cases or just a majority of them? It might be that there will have to be at least 1,000 or so cases before Spain makes that shift.

In contrast - The U.K. has reached 115 cases today and has announced it is leaving its own containment phase and putting into place its delay policies. I’m sure I read that, but saw this contradicted today (7th March https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-51781018 )

Final update for Thursday March 5th.
Another death led to the discovery of another cluster of cases at a different old people’s centre with (it appears) about 20 people affected.
This is presenting ENORMOUS problems as so many Spanish residents live in or rely on these institutions. Decisions are already being made to close day centres but there are going to be profound implications which we will learn more about in the coming days/weeks.

Am going to include a link to this piece as it documents Spain’s position at this point in time - https://elpais.com/sociedad/2020-03-...-covid-19.html

Closing tally of those infected by Covid-19 is 261. There have been 4 deaths.

Last edited by LapLap; Mar 7, 20 at 8:21 am Reason: Am changing my translation of mitigation to delay to avoid confusion later
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Old Mar 5, 20, 4:02 am
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https://elpais.com/sociedad/2020-03-...-europeos.html

This has thrown a major spanner in my works. I had been planning on flying MAD-TLV on March 15. Looks like I might be hanging around here instead.
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