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First day of special confinement measures lifted in Igualada and surrounding areas

Normality is slowly returning to the town and the care capacity in the hospitals is increasing

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06 April 2020 12:30 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

After the Spanish government accepted the calls from Catalonia to lift the strict confinement measures in Igualada and the surrounding areas, the cities and towns are gradually going back to normal, although the home confinement measures that are in place across all of Spain due to the state of alarm will be in effect in the central Catalan areas. 

Catalan police began dismantling the controls on roads entering and leaving the area on Monday, which has been totally isolated since March 12, following the outbreak of a large coronavirus cluster in the region. Only essential services have been allowed in and out of Igualada, Òdena, Santa Margarida de Montbui and Vilanova del Camí since that date.

With that, the exceptional situation for 70,000 people has come to an end. Health minister Alba Vergés said in a press conference that the funeral home had reported 147 deaths from covid-19 since the outbreak in the area.

Last Friday, no new deaths were reported, although 16 new coronavirus cases were confirmed. However, the mayor of Igualada and spokesperson for the confined councils, reported that the following day there were 11 further deaths from the virus, four of which at Igualada Hospital. 

Hospital returning to normality

Igualada Hospital is slowly returning to normal. The situation has improved and patients in the area no longer have to be sent to other health centers nearby due to lack of care capacity. 

In fact, the situation has improved to the point that patients in other hospitals are even returning to Igualada hospital as it now has the capacity. 

Added to this, healthcare workers recovering from covid-19 is moving along a positive trend. Since March 11, 42 new healthcare professionals have been hired at this center, and also twenty nurses from the fire brigade have joined them. 

At the end of March, the Catalan government reported that the death rate in the area climbed to 63.1 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, nine times higher than in the rest of Catalonia. The figure is not only above the Catalan average, but the Spanish one and that of Lombardy too, the epicenter of the outbreak in Italy, rising to 41.6.

On March 25 Buch announced an enhanced lockdown for the area, with only essential services to be carried out. This was rejected by Spanish authorities, only for the whole of Spain to be placed under similar restrictions just five days later.

An investigation into the outbreak that led to the four towns being completely sealed off by police showed it could be traced back to a lunch held on February 28 that was attended by 80 people, many of whom work in Igualada Hospital.

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  • Passeig Verdaguer, one of the main roads in the city of Igualada, with some people out walking after the lifting of the isolation orders (by Estefania Escolà)

  • Passeig Verdaguer, one of the main roads in the city of Igualada, with some people out walking after the lifting of the isolation orders (by Estefania Escolà)

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