Date Published: 13/07/2020
Regional Health Ministers from across Spain meet weekly in videconference to discuss the evolution of the pandemic
The recent outbreaks of Covid across Spain have caused increasing concern, as less than a month after the lifting of the state of alarm and the arrival of the ‘new normal’ the number of cases has started to once again increase and on Friday 333 new cases in one day set the alarm bells ringing.
On Thursday afternoon there were 73 different outbreaks in 15 of Spain’s 17 autonomous regions, and once again the media started to talk about the increased risk of a second wave of covid-19.
The national Government has been under no illusions that this was a very real possibility this year and has already prepared plans to cover various eventualities, as have the 17 regional governments.
On Monday the Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, brought forward the weekly meeting of the Coronavirus Monitoring Committee from Wednesday, attended by the PM before he flew to La Haya to meet Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte to discuss European regeneration and presented plans prepared by the Health Ministry should the re-escalation continue.
Health sources deny that the meeting was precipitated by the current increase in infections and maintains that the Health Ministry has been working on possible scenarios and ideas to prevent “what could happen” for several months.
The plan covers various aspects of situations related to Covid that could occur and includes a proposal to classify regions according to three risk levels: low, medium and high.
Mandatory face masks
Amongst the topics under discussion on Monday is the subject of face masks, with a number of regional governments taking the decision to enforce the mandatory use of masks in public spaces. Cataluña and the Balearic Islands were the first to make the decision and in the last few days the rapidly growing number of outbreaks across the country since the state of emergency concluded has prompted the regional governments of Andalucía, Extremadura, La Rioja, Navarra, Murcia and Aragón to follow their lead. Asturias and Cantabria are also considering imposing their own bans as the number of outbreaks across the country continues to rise.
It’s fairly likely that a blanket regulation will be in place for the whole country by the end of the week.