Second coronavirus case confirmed in Catalonia
Patient is 22-year-old man who spent time in Milan recently
A second case of coronavirus in Catalonia has been confirmed.
The health authorities announced on Wednesday morning that the patient was a 22-year-old man who had been in Italy.
In a press conference on Wednesday afternoon the Minister of Health, Alba Vergés, and the Secretary of Public Health, Joan Guix, confirmed the man in question had been in Milan from February 22-25.
He went to the emergency room with a sore throat and a low-grade fever, and tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday. He is being treated at Barcelona’s Hospital Clínic.
Authorities are contacting people who have been in close contact with him and will have them remain in quarantine at home for two weeks.
According to Dr. Assumpta Ricard, who manages the Catalan health service's integral health processes, "Wearing face-masks in public makes no sense, it doesn't increase safety, but on the contrary, it creates greater alarm" surrounding the spread of the coronavirus.
Health department secretary Joan Guix says there could be a slight increase in coronavirus diagnoses over the coming days, but that authorities would not be "alarmed" unless the virus begins to spread among people who have not traveled to high-risk zones.
First case confirmed on Tuesday
The second case followed confirmation on Tuesday of Catalonia’s – and indeed the Iberian peninsula’s– first coronavirus case, a 36-year-old woman who had also recently travelled to northern Italy. She was also admitted to Hospital Clínic in Barcelona with mild symptoms.
Some 33 people in close contact with the woman are confined to their homes as a precaution against the spread of the virus.
Guix had said on RAC1 radio on Wednesday morning that they had expected more cases, given the "constant" movement between Catalonia and Italy, but the message remains that there is no cause for alarm.
Last week, Italy saw a major outbreak of the virus, with thousands of citizens in lockdown.
The Catalan health department has asked that people who suspect they could have the coronavirus call the emergency number 061 for more information, rather than travel to hospital.
The state health authorities have broadened the areas of the world considered at risk, advising people not to travel to China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Iran, and four areas in northern Italy unless their trip is absolutely necessary.