One in four of Spain’s Guardia Civil officers subjected to the Covid-19 test has shown as positive for Coronavirus

Image of a Salvamento Maritimo emergency rescue vessel. Credit: [email protected]

SPANISH society is entering a new phase in the strategy to fight the Coronavirus with a generalisation of tests in which some groups have already begun. In addition to the medical personnel, the Guardia Civil are probably the professionals who have undergone the Covid-19 test the most. Since March 31, 5,878 tests have been carried out, out of a total of 80,090 personnel, according to sources from the armed institute.

And the result is that one in four has tested positive for the virus. Specifically, there have been 1,526 positives, 3,880 negatives and 472 are pending the result.

The reason that the Guardia Civil has carried out so many tests compared to other bodies is due to the fact that the armed institute acquired 10,000 rapid tests on its own to try to reduce the number of officers undergoing isolation, which reached 3,984 on March 27.

Rapid tests, carried out by taking a sample of the examinee without leaving the vehicle, do not detect the virus, but the antibodies that the body generates, so they are only effective after one week of infection. Guardia Civil has used them to diagnose those who had been confined for more than seven days and 3,388 have already returned to service; 2,045 because they have given negative and 1,343 because they have overcome the disease. As the situation is not stable and new internments occur, the number of isolates is currently 2,023.

The 5,878 tests were carried out on three groups: the staff who had been in isolation for more than a week; the one that occupies critical positions and the one that is part of cells that work as a team. The result is 1,467 infected, according to data from the Guardia Civil.

To assess the high percentage of positives, it must be pointed out that it was based on a sample consisting mostly of personnel suspected of suffering from Covid-19, for having presented symptoms compatible with the disease or having been in contact with a positive. To the extent that this percentage can be extrapolated to the rest of the population, that would mean that more than a quarter of those who believe they have had the disease would have actually passed it.

The number of infected Guardia Civil officers has almost doubled from April 5 to 14, going from 788 to 1,483, while the Cuerpo Nacional de Policía has gone from 601 to 751, the regional police from 234 to 294 and the local ones from 647 to 868.

Sources of the Guardia Civil allege that its greater number of infected responds to the fact that more tests have been carried out than in any other police force, while the AUGC attributes this difference as a lack of protection and measures to prevent contagion.

Beyond the positives, the armed institute has 71 officers hospitalised by the pandemic, just over half of the more than 120 it had at the worst time. The irreparable are the deceased: seven Guardia Civil officers have died so far by the Covid-19, ahead of four National Police  officers, and a Local Police officer.

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Damon Mitchell

From the interviewed to the interviewer

As frontman of a rock band Damon used to court the British press, now he lives the quiet life in Spain and seeks to get to the heart of the community, scoring exclusive interviews with ex-pats about their successes and struggles during their new life in the sun.

Originally from Scotland but based on the coast for the last three years, Damon strives to bring the most heartfelt news stories from the spanish costas to the Euro Weekly News.

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