Igualada asks most vulnerable 'at least' are tested for covid-19

50 people with coronavirus have died in city and three neighbouring towns in central Catalonia

Screening tent outside health center in Igualada, March 21, 2020 (by Igualada council)
Screening tent outside health center in Igualada, March 21, 2020 (by Igualada council) / ACN


March 27, 2020 04:08 PM

The mayor of Igualada Marc Castells has asked that "at least" the most vulnerable residents in the area be tested for covid-19, whether they have symptoms or not.

He made the demand of the government on Friday, so that "no one can have the feeling that they’ve locked us up and thrown away the key." 

Castells had asked on Thursday for the screening of the every single person in Igualada, which along with three neighbouring towns in central Catalonia has been under lockdown since March 13.

But on Friday morning the Health Minister, Alba Vergés said that the government was not in a position to test the 70,000-strong population, adding that the priority was to provide testing for health staff across Catalonia.

Madrid rules out exhanced measures

On Wednesday the Catalan government announced an extended and enhanced 'phase 2' of lockdown in Igualada, but the cabinet in Madrid ruled it out, arguing that Spain has already taken the "most drastic measures in Europe and the strictest worldwide in order to beat coronavirus."

Despite not supporting the Catalan government moves to enhance the confinement measures, it was revealed on Thursday evening that the Spanish health ministry were in fact studying the effects of the first phase of lockdown.

The source of the coronavirus outbreak has been traced to a lunch held on February 28 that was attended by 80 people, many of whom work in Igualada Hospital.

At the time of writing, there have a been a total of 395 positive coronavirus cases in the area, including 140 healthcare professionals. 50 people with covid-19 have died.