Disadvantaged Communities Are A Common Factor In Spain’s Recent Coronavirus Outbreaks

JUST over a week after the State of Alarm was lifted and certain restrictions were eased, up to 11 communities registered active coronavirus outbreaks in Spain, according to the latest balance sheet from the Ministry of Health. These recent spikes do seem to have something in common: most are in the heart of disadvantaged or marginalised communities.

A fruit and vegetable company in Aragon proved to be the most numerous to date, with 320 positive cases, forcing three regions of Huesca and one of Zaragoza to move back to Phase two of the lockdown. Malaga too saw another worrying outbreak, focused around an Immigrant Reception Centre and other examples include a meat factory in Valencia and various old people’s homes around the country.

Javier del Águila Mejía, resident doctor of Preventive Medicine and Public Health at the University Hospital of Móstoles, has observed that most of the outbreaks have a common factor: “What we see is that they are closely related to disadvantaged groups,” he says “because most of them live in conditions that can favour transmission.” Small spaces with several family members, large groups of immigrants that live and work together or factories where social distancing is not observed.

However, Del Aguila views the new surge in cases as normal and states that “The virus continues to circulate among us, but since we are now looking at it through a magnifying glass over it, we are seeing more cases.”

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Eleisha Kennedy

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