'Things are not going well' warns Spain's chief epidemiologist

AFP/The Local
AFP/The Local - [email protected] • 21 Aug, 2020 Updated Fri 21 Aug 2020 09:28 CEST
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Spain's emergencies director warned Thursday that "things are not going well" in his country's fight to ramp down COVID-19 transmission as cases keep rising.


Spain has been one of the world's worst hit countries with close on 30,000 coronavirus-related deaths and recent fresh cluster outbreaks more than two months since one of Europe's toughest lockdowns was eased.

Fernando Simón, the health ministry's emergencies director, urged social media influencers to help make young people in particular aware of the ongoing danger of contamination.

"Nobody should be in any doubt, things are not going well... We cannot let the situation elude us again," Simón told a press conference, warning of the dangers of a rebound in cases which Spain has seen in recent weeks.

Many of the new cases are asymptomatic with the number of hospitalised sufferers as well as fatalities well down on the spring peaks.   

Simón stressed the main risk was that hospitals could find themselves overwhelmed with admissions if the number of cases keeps rising.    

Spain's counts 130 virus cases per 100,000 people, a much higher level  than that of its EU neighbours -- the figure for France being 43 and just 17 in Germany according to an AFP tally based on official data.


Spain had registered 377,906 confirmed cases to date by Wednesday night, 7,039 of them notified since Tuesday according to official data.    

The past week has seen 122 virus deaths, compared with 12 in the final week of July, for an official total toll of  28,813.

Simon urged young people seeking to enjoy their summer to be aware of the risks they face.   

"I understand that people want to party -- but there is a manner in which to do so.   

"All those who have influence on the (youth) population should participate in raising awareness ... I think there are many 'influencers' in Spain with very great visibility which can help to control the epidemic," he said.   

With data showing a number of virus cases are down to Spaniards enjoying nights out, Spanish authorities last Friday ordered the closure of nightclubs and discos as.




AFP/The Local 2020/08/21 09:28

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