Spain ‘broken game’ before Covid-19 because of ‘ignoring’ early warning signals?
Unusually warm weather, the Champions League football tournament and many other major events organized and the coffee culture of the people are the factors that contributed to the spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus throughout Europe. , from country to country, from city to city, from Italy to Spain and Portugal.
More than 5,000 people have died and more than 54,000 virus infections have been detected in Spain – one of the countries most seriously affected by the disease, according to statistics from the country’s Ministry of Health. Spain clearly knew what happened in China and Italy. But the country still ignores the warning signs and does not take early action.
“Danger” from the soccer tournament
On February 19, nearly 3,000 fans of the Valencia football club traveled from Spain to Milan (Italy) to watch their team compete with Atalanta within the framework. About 40,000 Italians were also in the stands cheering this match, many of them from Bergamo and surrounding towns.
The mayor of Bergamo Giorgio Gori said Milan had been bustling that night. In addition to the people attending the match, there are many others watching from their homes, gathering with family or in groups at bars, ”Giorgio Gori noted. “It was clear that evening was an opportunity for the virus to spread strongly.”
In this view, immunologist Francesco Le Foche told Corriere dello Sport: “There are many key agents and catalysts for the spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus, but the Atlanta-Valencia match could be one of all. “It is not wise to organize the tournament in the presence of a large number of attendees, but at that time, everything was not clear enough,” said Le Foche.
Two days later, in the Italian town of Codogno, about 60 km from the city of Bergamo, a 38-year-old man, known as the “number one patient,” was diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 virus. But according to research by nearly 20 Italian experts, the virus has been quietly spreading for a long time.
At the time of first detection of Covid-19, the disease was widespread in most parts of southern Lombardy (Italy), the study stated. After examining nearly 6,000 cases of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the researchers found that 388 patients in the Lombardy area were infected with the virus by February 19 – even before they were identified. take.
“In the following week, the Codogno region, as well as several neighboring towns in southern Lombardy, witnessed a rapid increase in cases,” the researchers noted.
In Spain, Valencia’s players, fans and sports journalists were among the first to become infected. After attending the soccer tournament, the visitors from Valencia, Spain returned home. One of these is sports reporter Kike Mateu. Kike Mateu told CNN that 4 days after returning he had a cough and had trouble breathing. “A few days later I decided to go to the hospital because then I heard the news of the outbreak of Covid-19 broke out in Lombardy (Italy).” Kike Mateu transmitted the SARS-CoV-2 virus to four colleagues and the Valencia football club then confirmed that one-third of the players and coaches tested positive.
On February 27, a spokesman for the Ministry of Health in Valencia confirmed six cases of virus infection in the city. Three days later, a Portuguese man who visited Valencia tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus upon returning home. During the first week of March 2020, the Spanish Ministry of Health requested to organize major sporting events in a “closed” format, including the return leg of Valencia and Atlanta.
March 8 rally on all the roads
But on the other hand, life in Spain is still going on. Bars and cafes are still open. Unusually warm weather caused dozens of Spaniards to pour out into public spaces. The International Women’s Day rally (March 8), involving tens of thousands of people, took place across the streets of Spain, with an estimated crowd of 120,000 people in Madrid.
Two female ministers in the Spanish government later tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, though they did not know how they were infected. Opposition parties have criticized the government for allowing such events.
A week later, the Spanish government turned into what Salvadoran’s Health Minister Salvador Illa called “strengthening the containment of Covid-19”. The main measure is to close schools in Madrid since March 11, but it did not bring the desired effect. Hundreds of thousands of students enjoyed a surprise holiday. Many people living in Madrid leave the capital, perhaps in part because they fear the government will take stronger measures. Roads became more crowded when Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on March 13, “an alarm condition” would be issued. However, it was not until the next day that details were discussed at the cabinet meeting.
Before the alarm was issued, local officials in areas like Murcia and Valencia began closing the beaches. In a statement posted on Twitter, the Spanish national police said, “Don’t go to a beach, mountain or town resort.”
Discrete response, inconsistency
The responses seem sporadic and inconsistent, in part due to disagreements between the central government and governments in some localities, especially the Catalonia region. “We understand that all the measures are not enough right now, but a week ago everyone thought the situation might have been exaggerated,” Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez admitted.
Earlier on March 26, Health Minister Salvador Illa spoke of a “stabilization period” in the diagnostic trend. But even if this is true, pressure on the Spanish healthcare system will increase in the coming weeks as thousands of health workers become ill. The price that the Spanish economy has to pay for the blockade, which has been extended for another 2 weeks, will be greater. The Spanish Government is asking the European Union for more help to recover financially.