January 22, 2021

The Andalusian Government confines 8 Cádiz municipalities bordering Gibraltar after soaring the infection rate



The Andalusian Government has decreed the perimeter closure of the eight Cádiz municipalities that make up the health areas of Campo de Gibraltar East and West, after detecting a rebound in infections that has far exceeded the average of infection in this area: located in 316 positive cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days. They are La Línea de la Concepción, Algeciras, Los Barrios, Castellar de la Frontera, Jimena de la Frontera, San Martín del Tesorillo, San Roque and Tarifa.

They were towns that already had an incidence that was double the Andalusian average -140 cases per 100,000 inhabitants-, but that in recent days has seen their data worsen dramatically. The Ministry of Health attributes it to the proximity of Gibraltar, where 2,000 positives are registered for every 100,000 inhabitants, and where the first cases of a new strain of the coronavirus imported from the United Kingdom have been detected.

The Board, at the proposal of the High Impact Public Health Alerts Council meeting this Saturday, has decided to re-confine these eight municipalities, which number almost 270,000 inhabitants, and where the care pressure in the ICU has been triggered by “the proliferation of cases linked to the British strain of Covid-19 in Gibraltar “. The Minister of the Presidency, Elías Bendodo, has asked the central government to tighten the controls on the fence that separates the demarcation of the Rock from the Cadiz municipality of La Línea, where 10,000 workers cross daily.

To this measure is added the proposal of a vaccination campaign against Covid-19 in all residences in both areas as well as in health professionals who carry out their work in the area. Similarly, and as decided by the High Impact Territorial Committee of Cádiz last Thursday, the population screening in the municipality of La Línea de la Concepción began to be carried out this Saturday and will continue on Sunday in Algeciras. This was announced by the Minister of Health and Families, Jesús Aguirre, at the end of the meeting with the alert committee.

The confirmed cases linked to the British strain rise to a total of seven in Andalusia during the last hours; of these cases, three are registered in the province of Malaga, two in Granada, one in Seville and another in the Campo de Gibraltar area. All of them have good clinical evolution. The Ministry of Health maintains intensification of the epidemiological surveillance of those confirmed cases of Covid-19 with a history of travel to the United Kingdom or Gibraltar recently, applying genomic sequencing techniques to the isolates of these cases.

The Committee of Experts of the Andalusian Government has taken into account the information released by the National Health Service (NHS) of the United Kingdom, according to which the data on infections in Gibraltar have suffered a progressive rise in the last 14 days, with incidence rates per 100,000 inhabitants that exceed 2,000 cases and more than 800 cases declared in the last two weeks. “The Junta de Andalucía considers it necessary to adopt this type of containment measures in the area and as a precautionary principle to avoid an exponential growth in the coming days that could directly affect the healthcare pressure”, says Aguirre.

The counselor has insisted on his claim to the Government of Spain “to act forcefully and establish greater control in transit with Gibraltar”, as he did in the letter sent to the Minister of Health, Salvador Illa last Wednesday.

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