Connect with us

Spain’s response to Covid 19


Spain’s response to Covid 19

Abhishek Ranjan.

The first confirmed case of Covid 19 in Spain was detected on a German tourist in Canary Islands on 31st of January 2020. The second case was confirmed after 9 days, that is on the 9th of Feburary 2020, at the Balearic Islands, on a British tourist who was infected in France. Up till then, the Spanish authorities did not believe that the virus could be a potential threat, the head of medical emergencies in Madrid also gave a statement saying “ Spain will only have a handful of cases”. Spain witnessed it’s first death due to the virus on 13th February 2020. The first lockdown was imposed at Tenerife, following the detection of the virus on a doctor following the outbreak of the virus in Italy on 24th of February. The cases only grew from there, by the 18th of February, there were more than two strains of Covid circulating in the country. The Spanish government did not respond appropriately to the spreading of the virus initially and underestimated it which led to it going to the community transmission stage even though the country did not share borders with nations that were very badly affected by the virus. While quarantines were already being established in many nations, the government undermining the situation were encouraging gathering of people, one such incident is the International Women’s day gathering which took place on March 8. The country also did not have enough medical supplies which included testing kits and protective gear such as masks as they had undermined the virus leading to healthcare workers contacting the virus
The community transmission stage went from 26th February 2020 to 12th March 2020, after which the situation only worsened and there was a state of alarm on 13th March 2020 for a duration of 2 weeks and a day but the lockdown only took effect on the 15th of March 2020 and the ban on non essential activities took effect from 28th of March 2020, all this had a positive effect and the number of deaths starting decreasing from 3rd April 2020 to 11th April 2020. 3rd April was also the day that recorded the highest deaths, after 13th of April restrictions were loosened up and some non essential workers were allowed to go back to work ( only those who couldn’t work from home ), protective gear was also distributed by the government but the state of alarm was extended till 9th of May 2020, though de-escalation has started from 2nd May 2020. The plan has 4 phases from 0-3 each expected to be 2 weeks long, the transition to the next face would be determined by indicators showing the health of the citizens at the province level, some of these indicators are the amount of cases and the capability of the healthcare system of Spain to accommodate the cases. The phases would start from phase 0 which permits people to go out of their place of residence for walks and sports ( individually ), started from the 2nd of May 2020, then there would be phase 1 which permits opening up of shops, open terraces but only at 1/3 of their total accommodation.

USA’s response to the China Virus
Spain is amongst the countries that were worst affected by the corona virus pandemic . The government of Spain took the following steps to tackle the situation
Imposing lockdowns and quarantines :The Spanish government has used lockdowns and quarantines as a way to tackle the crisis, which has been effective in handling the cases and reducing the spread of the virus. The first lockdown was imposed on the state of Haro on the 7th of March 2020 followed by the quarantining of 4 Catalan municipalities after less than a week, after which a state of alarm was declared nationwide according to Article 116.2 of their constitution which gave all the powers to the center and the police force. Non essential activities and gathering in huge numbers were banned by the government. Apart from the government, some autonomous communities also took steps in the same direction, for example Basque country did population confinement, suspension of traffic between Spanish mainland and the Balearic Islands. The state of alarm was then extended till 11th of April.
Restricting travels :Apart from lockdowns and quarantines, the Spanish government also put restrictions on travel to prevent the spread of the virus in the country. All direct flights from Italy were cancelled after 9th March 2020, after which even flights from Morocco were suspended, from 16th March 2020 only citizens of Spain were allowed in the country while the frontiers were closed for all other country nationals though to maintain the supply chain, merchandise transportation was allowed and movement from one province to another was also banned and will continue till the start of July.

Closures :The Spanish government also closed many buildings specially in the city Madrid ( which was the worst affected of all ) which included most museums, libraries, palaces and courts. Jails were also isolated which was followed by the closing of restaurants, bars etc. Only shops which sold basic necessities were allowed to be open.
Enforcements : The Spanish government is extensively using police and military force to tackle the crisis, using the forces not only to protect the citizens but to also lift up their spirits in difficult times by playing music. The government has taken control over nursing homes. Violations of social distancing have grave consequences in Spain from hefty fines to actually prison time. The forces are also using drones to monitor activity and roadblocks are used to restrict travel in the county.

Corona virus has also led to an increase in cybercrimes in the country specially on easily accessible platforms like Whatsapp and there has been an increase in fraud websites in the country as well. Certain online business have also increased the price of essentials like masks and other protective gear while scams have also emerged in the country which promise to sell miracle products to cure the virus. Since the government had taken austerity measures and cut the budget for healthcare before the pandemic, the Spanish healthcare lacked capacity to accommodate patients and hence the death rate in the country increased due to overwhelming of the hospitals from patients. ICU’s in Madrid were over 80 percent in their capacity on 28th of March 2020. Due to the lack of protective gear in the country, healthcare workers are affected by the virus and about 12 healthcare providers have died because of corona virus in the country.

Impact of Covid 19 on the Media Industry

The government has also taken up measures to reduce the impact of the pandemic on its economy with special emphasis to reduce the impact on domestic households, workers and firms. The government has provided aid directly to these sectors and uptill now it has provided aid which amounts to roughly 1.7 percent of its gross domestic product. The Spanish government has also guaranteed essential services like electricity to the households. Flexible use of temporary layoffs has also been adopted to ease the workers and the virus is considered to be a force majeure. For protection of firms, deferral in taxation related dues has also been done for small and medium enterprises and the SSC for employees has also been reduced.
Perhaps, the best reaction to combating the spread of the virus has been by Zahara de la Sierra which is located in the South of the country which has managed to protect itself from the virus by shutting of from the rest of the world. After the declaration of state of alarm in the country, only one entrance was kept open of the fortress while the others were closed ( the town has a total of five entrances ), the immunity of the town to the virus is because of it responding early and completely isolating itself, these measures were taken by the Mayor of the town because around 1/3 of the total people living in the town are more than the age of sixty five and hence have lower immunity which makes them more susceptible to death from the virus

More in International

To Top