Spain calls on army convoys to send out Covid-19 vaccine and food supplies

Spain calls on army convoys to send out Covid-19 vaccine and food supplies
Photo: AFP
The Spanish government will on Monday begin sending convoys carrying the COVID-19 vaccine and food supplies to reach areas cut off by Storm Filomena.

The weekend saw the heaviest snowfall for half a century with over 600 roads cut off in the storm and hundreds stranded in their vehicles overnight.

But although the snowfall itself has stopped across much of Spain, forecasters warned of dangerous conditions in the coming days, with temperatures expected to plummet to minus 10ºC (14º F).

“We are committed to guarantee the supply of health, vaccines and food. Corridors have been opened to deliver the goods,” transport minister, Jose Luis Abalos, announced on Sunday.

The transport, storage and distribution of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine was a key priority, he said.

Priority was given over the weekend to clearing access to hospitals with volunteers joining emergency services and Military Emergency Unit (UME) to make them accessible.

Some healthcare staff made long journeys through the snow to reach work, prompting offers from 4X4 owners to drive them to work as well as organizing an SOS service to help those trapped.

“Not all heroes wear capes,” proclaimed El Confidencial newspaper, “Some drive 4X4s and have snow chains”.

Drivers volunteered to step in where ambulances could not and drive pregnant women to hospital, take critical patients to A and help those stranded on motorways get home.

One doctor trekked 17km through the snow just to get to work at a hospital in Madrid, a journey he described in a video posted on Twitter.

Meanwhile these two nurses, Paco and Monica left the house at 4.30am on Saturday morning to walk 22km through the snow for their shift at Madrid’s Hospital 12 de Octubre.

Another nurse made the 5km journey on foot in heavy snow from Boadilla del Monte, a town to the west of Madrid to Hospital Puerta del Hierro because roads were impassable.

While a nurse identified only as Teresa, was captured on film walking through deep snow on her way home after a shift at Gregorio Marañón Hospital.

 

 

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