The director of the Center for Health Alerts and Emergencies of the Ministry of Health, Fernando Simón, has justified the cancellation of an evangelistic congress in Madrid scheduled for March 19, 20 and 21 in anticipation of the attendance of participants from 120 countries, some of high risk of contagion of the coronavirus, a circumstance that did not occur in the celebration of March 8.
The cancellation of this congress, recommended by the Ministry of Health on March 6, is one of the examples used in the report of the Civil Guard on the March 8 demonstration for which the head of the Commandery has supposedly been removed. in Madrid, Diego Pérez de los Cobos, and who concludes that as of March 5 no demonstration or concentration should have taken place in Madrid.
De los Cobos was dismissed after this report was forwarded to the judge investigating the government delegate in Madrid, José Manuel Franco, which has caused a storm in the Civil Guard that has even triggered the resignation of his number two.
At a press conference, Simón explained that on March 3 the Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, dictated an office recommending performances in health centers, holding sports events behind closed doors, not holding mass events with people from of risk areas and the non-celebration of medical conferences.
The cancellation of the evangelistic congress was decided after knowing on March 6 a focus of contagion in northern Spain associated with a funeral and “outbreaks associated with specific groups in an area of Madrid”, taking into account that attendance at This congress (IX World Congress of Assemblies of God: Unlimited 2020) of people from 120 countries, some of “high risk” of contagion when Spain was not, Simon explained.
“What happened two days later was an event that did not meet those characteristics (…) It did not fit into that package,” he added, referring to March 8. For Simón, the demonstration of Women’s Day in Madrid did not have a “specific” impact on the evolution of the epidemic, if anything “marginal”, such as that caused by public transport or a football match.
It was on March 9 when there was “a significant increase” in cases in Spain, but these infections did not occur the previous weekend, but between February 20 and 25, as the incubation period for coronavirus infection is between a week and fifteen days, explained Simon, who noted that the recommendations changed from that day.
The cancellation of this congress, and not of the demonstration, is highlighted in the Civil Guard report, which is surprised that the Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, and Simón himself told the organizers that this congress could not be celebrate and even sent them a document on March 7, signed by the general director of Public Health, Quality and Innovation of the Ministry of Health, Pilar Aparicio, in “which expressly includes the recommendation to postpone massive events.”