Coronavirus regrowth affects young people in Spain

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Coronavirus regrowth affects young people in Spain




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The average age of those infected in Spain fell from 63 to 45, so “the pressure on the health system at the moment is low,” since the cases are not as serious, according to the health minister Salvador Illa. Young patients do not have symptoms as severe as the elderly.



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By Renata Brito and Joseph Wilson

SANT SADURNÍ D’ANOIA, Spain, Aug 03 (AP) .- Like most Spaniards, Emma Gaya thought that the worst of the pandemic it had already happened.

The Government had raised a quarantine three months after the COVID-19 At least 28,400 people were killed and, in an effort to revive the economy, people were encouraged to cautiously resume their lives by wearing face masks, washing their hands often, and maintaining social distance.

The breath of fresh air did not last long.

“I am very sorry that we can go back to how we were,” said Gaya after testing for the virus at a clinic in Sant Sadurni D’Anoia, a town near Barcelona. The test was done because she had a fever, one of the symptoms of COVID-19, along with a dry cough and loss of sense of smell.

“I am very sorry. Because I think we did well. Now I don’t know if we are doing it right, I don’t know to what extent we can be sure. I do not know”.

On June 22, a day after a national state of emergency ended and freedom of movement was allowed across the country, the health ministry recorded 125 new cases in 24 hours. Six weeks later, on Friday, July 31, 1,525 cases were detected in one day.






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Spain is the largest country in Europe with the most cases per capita, 60 for every 100,000 inhabitants. Although the south and the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands have not registered large increases, in the regions of Navarra, Aragon and Catalonia there have been 120 daily cases for every 100,000 inhabitants for 14 days. Northeast Spain is today the main infectious focus from Europe, along with parts of Romania, according to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control.

Unlike what happened at the worst times, in March and April, when the virus wreaked havoc on nursing homes and almost overwhelmed the capacity of hospitals, today the burden falls on neighborhood clinics. These health centers try to detect and isolate new infections, which especially affect young people, who in Spain and throughout the world are ignoring social distancing, and middle-aged people.

The average age of those infected in Spain fell from 63 to 45, so “the pressure on the health system at the moment is low,” since the cases are not as serious, according to the health minister Salvador Illa. Young patients do not have symptoms as severe as the elderly.

The fact that there is an increased ability to test now makes it difficult to make comparisons. In February, March and April the tests were scarce and they were only done to people admitted to hospitals. Many infections passed unnoticed.

Now, local clinics detect far more infections among people with no symptoms.



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“We are in a different situation because at the moment we have evidence,” said Dr. Miriam Ceña, director of the Sant Sadurni D’Anoia health clinics. “We really are in a situation of risk and alarm. It is not a matter of alarming the population, it is a matter of holding the population accountable. In March, a confinement was decreed, making the situation more tight. Right now there is mobility and social contact and this is a risk. “

The regrowth will surely worsen the slowdown in the economy and affect the revival of tourism, which is one of its pillars. The economy already contracted 18 percent in the second quarter, the steepest decline in Spain since the 1936-39 civil war.

Britain imposed a 14-day quarantine on people returning from Spain, while France, Germany, and Belgium recommend not traveling to northern Spain.

Authorities have been warning for weeks about the possibility of new outbreaks, but experts anticipated that they would likely occur when winter arrives in the northern hemisphere. However, they arrived in the middle of summer, when people were anxious to see each other with family and friends, and when hotels, restaurants and shops pointed to the arrival of national and international tourists to alleviate the blow that the quarantine represented.

Spain must now find a way to contain the new outbreak as it tries to revive its economy. Authorities hope they can avoid another stay-at-home order that would be catastrophic for businesses and increase unemployment despite help from the European Union.



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Catalonia and other regions imposed restrictions, such as the mandatory use of face masks at all times outside the house and the closure of nightclubs, major infectious sources.

“We have to obsessively comply with the protection measures,” said the director of public health of Catalonia Josep Argimon.

The Government of Catalonia, however, assigned only 600 people to help doctors and nurses in the clinics trace contacts, which is not enough. This sparked strong criticism from mayors and healthcare workers.

The Spanish Government has a telephone application that helps to trace contacts and reiterated its exhortations to the citizens to be handled responsibly.

“I share that there are many citizens who, seeing the outbreaks that exist now in different parts of our country, feel anguish,” said the President of the Spanish Government Pedro Sánchez. “Because we have all had to make an enormous effort of discipline, of resistance, to face the virus.”

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