Coronavirus in Spain: a country in shock

Coronavirus in Spain: a country in shock

© dpa
Endless work: An employee of the La Paz Hospital in Madrid waves from a window.

• 3434 people have died in Spain as a result of the corona virus, making Spain the second country after Italy to overtake China in the corona deaths.

• Reports caused great excitement that several dozen body bags and coffins had been temporarily stored in an ice rink in the north of Madrid.

• Protective clothing and masks are missing – almost 14 percent of all infected are medical personnel.

• The debate about under-prepared health care is taking off.

A country in shock

Spain was the second country after Italy to overtake China in the number of corona deaths on Wednesday, at least according to official statistics. The Ministry of Health announced at lunchtime that its number had increased to 3,434, more than half of it in the Madrid region. 47,600 infections were registered across the country. The government also announced in the evening that Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo was infected with the Corona virus – as the third member of the cabinet.

In the fierce debate about the inadequate preparation of the entire health care system for the pandemic, the Supreme Court in Madrid emphasized the fact that it rushed to reject the medical unions’ application to force the government to immediately distribute protective clothing and masks. The central government is not responsible for this. But a social court in Madrid sentenced the conservative regional president Isabel Ayuso to immediately distribute the stocks of such materials to the hospitals.

The association of doctoral doctors had filed a complaint, referring to messages from the Ministry of Health that all the necessary materials were available in magazines. However, a spokesman for Ayusos said that nothing was being held back in the Madrid region. The Madrid newspapers have been complaining for days about a confusion of skills and information between the authorities.

Nurses: Patients over the age of 75 no longer come to the intensive care unit

The ministry announced that 432 million euros of materials were ordered in China, including 550 million protective masks, 5.5 million virus tests, and 950 ventilators. Spanish Air Force transport planes are expected to collect the material. The government also asked NATO partners to help fill the gaps in supplies. Almost 14 percent of those infected belong to the medical staff.

It became known that two doctors also died from the virus, a 59-year-old general practitioner in Salamanca, who actually had only mild symptoms, and the 63-year-old doctor from a public health center in Cordoba.

Director of the Health Emergency Agency (CCAES), Fernando Simon, said the increase in infections and deaths has slowed significantly. It is expected that the peak will be reached in the coming week, after which the curves will presumably sink again. According to him, this means that the rigorous measures are taking effect: curfew, apart from visits to the doctor, buying food and medicines; Trips to care for relatives are also permitted. The Parliament extended the measures initially imposed for two weeks until April 11. However, representatives of the medical associations said that this was not enough; it can be expected that public life will be paralyzed by at least the end of April.

Quick procedure for burial of urns and coffins

The previous evening, reports had caused great excitement that several dozen body bags and coffins had been temporarily stored in the large ice rink in northern Madrid. The international media reported that so many people were dying in Madrid that the crematoriums were completely overloaded. The all-clear came on Wednesday: the largest urban crematorium started work again after a day and a half after protective clothing had arrived for the employees.

In the meantime, the Catholic Church has approved rapid procedures for the burial of urns and coffins: a priest only sprinkles holy water on the hearse slowly moving to the burial site and says a prayer, only the closest relatives are admitted, but have to keep their distance from the burial.

The statistics of the dead lead by far the age group from 70 years. Nurses reported that patients over the age of 75 did not even come to the intensive care unit, and doctors should prefer those who have a good chance of survival. However, places of danger are still poorly equipped retirement homes. There were several cases of vigorous old people who left their homes on their own to find relatives. However, the experts warn that more and more people under the age of 40 have been coming to hospitals in the past few days.

Authorities have leased hotels in several cities, including Madrid, to save medical staff from having to travel long distances. Medical students from the higher semesters were also required to work, and numerous doctors from Venezuela who apply for political asylum in Spain were given a temporary work permit.

All current information and recommendations from the Ministry of Health can be found here.

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