- Spain assures world new outbreak ‘under control’
- Countries impose travel restrictions on Spain due to worsening outbreak in Catalonia
- COVID-19 cases pull back after hitting daily records
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As the UK, France, Norway and a handful of other European countries impose mandatory quarantines on travelers visiting from Spain – or warning their citizens to avoid travel to Catalonia, the epicenter of the outbreak – anxieties are rising as the outbreak in Barcelona and the surrounding suburbs, including the village of Lleida, and seven nearby towns, intensifies.
A little over a week ago, Catalan authorities imposed a lockdown affecting 160,000 people in and around Lleida, a swath of suburban Barcelona. Since then, they’ve advised people in the restive region of 7.5 million to stay home and observe social distancing practices with assiduous dedication.
The resurgence is the most glaring evidence yet that the Spanish government’s attempt to salvage at least some of the peak travel season has blown up in the country’s face. It further illustrates just how complicated combating the virus has become: with some authorities warning that finding a vaccine could take two years or more, the quest for a ‘sustainable’ and reasonably safe virus response that doesn’t destroy the lives of millions of Americans has become fraught with political considerations.
Spain’s health ministry reported 920+ new cases on both Thursday and Friday, the highest numbers since early May, when the government was just beginning the process of unwinding its strict lockdown, which was lauded as one of the most intense in Europe. Authorities in Catalonia have closed bars and nightclubs as fears of a second wave intensify.
The 4th highest death toll in Europe was recorded in Spain, with roughly 28k deaths.
Despite all the tough talk from Spain’s neighbors, the tourism industry’s insistence that the border between France and Catalonia remain open, though French PM Jean Castex has said he’s negotiating with Spain to limit the number of such crossings. The UK has added Spain to its “unsafe” list, right alongside the US. But across the Europe, the tourism industry is hurting, and small concessions are still being made.
On Sunday, the Spanish Foreign Ministry advised that the country’s coronavirus epidemic was “under control”, despite the spate of travel advisories adopted by several of Spain’s European neighbors.
Hospitals are coping well with the increase in infections and more than half of new cases are asymptomatic, the ministry said.
With lockdown measures being reimposed, outbreaks in Catalonia and Aragon should soon be brought under control, they said, according to Reuters.
Globally, the world saw a pullback in newly confirmed COVID-19 cases from the record numbers seen just a day prior, as the world reported 257,789 new cases over the last 24 hours…
…bringing the global total to 16,292,002, according to Worldometer.