The spread of the Wuhan coronavirus, known as Covid-19, has now reached the Costa del Sol, with 22 confirmed cases by Saturday evening.
There were four new cases in Malaga province on Saturday. A 71-year-old woman, who had had contact with someone already diagnosed with having the virus, as well as a 64-year-old man are under observation at home.
In Malaga, two more were hospitalised. A 52-year-old from Madrid, who was in the area for work, was admitted to the Hospital Virgen de la Victoria in Malaga while a 23-year-old Malaga resident was admitted to the Hospital Regional in the city with pneumonia.
These two new cases saw the number of coronavirus sufferers to be hospitalised on the Costa del Sol rise to seven (between the Hospital Regional and Virgen de la Victoria in Malaga, the Costa del Sol Hospital in Marbella, the Ronda district hospital, the Vithas Xánit Internacional in Benalmádena and the Quirónsalud in Malaga).
Nine cases in one day
Friday was an especially busy day in terms of new reported cases, with nine in a single day. The first confirmed cases were two men, 74 and 72, being treated in hospital for pneumonia, one in the Costa del Sol Hospital in Marbella and the other in the Vithas Xánit Internacional in Benalmádena.
Another three people were also hospitalised. Two men, 37 and 54, with pneumonia were admitted to the Hospital Quirónsalud in Malaga and the Costa del Sol Hospital, respectively. The third, a 70-year-old man, was admitted to the Ronda district hospital.
A further four people with Covid-19 didn't require hospitalisation and are under observation at home. They are a 63-year-old nurse who had recently travelled to Italy and also had contact with some of the previously diagnosed cases in the area; a 54-year-old man who had contact with a confirmed carrier; and two men, 22 and 32, who had recently been in Italy.
These nine doubled the provincial total from the previous day.
Other new cases reported this week include a woman, 41, from Alhaurín de la Torre, who was sent to the Quirón hospital in Malaga city after showing symptoms. She was discharged on Thursday. This news followed that of a 17-year-old girl from the Santa Rosa de Lima school, also in the city, earlier in the day.
The latter was placed in isolation at home with mild symptoms and it is thought that she caught the virus while on a school trip to Italy with 77 other students and three teachers.
Also in Malaga, a 73-year-old man is being kept in isolation at the Hospital Clínico after suffering pneumonia as a direct result of the coronavirus.
He was admitted to the hospital on Sunday and initial investigations point towards him having contracted the virus from family members who visited him in Malaga from northern Italy.
He became the seventh known case in Malaga province after two cases in Fuengirola were confirmed last Saturday, in addition to the three in Marbella and one in Fuengirola confirmed last Friday.
The three victims in Fuengirola, two men aged 59 and 62 and a 55-year-old woman, recently travelled to Emilia-Romagna (Italy).
After presenting symptoms and testing positive, the patients are being monitored at home.
This is also the case with the three people who contracted the virus in Marbella. SUR has confirmed that the two men who tested positive, aged 42 and 53 respectively, work in the same banking company as the first confirmed patient in Andalucía - a 62-year-old man who was admitted to the Virgen del Rocío Hospital in Seville last Wednesday.
He was discharged on Monday and will continue his recovery at home under surveillance.
Investigations carried out by the regional Health ministry have tracked down the moment of contagion to a party following a banking congress at a flamenco 'tablao' in Marbella at the end of January, attended by a couple from Shanghai.
The bank, which has a branch in Marbella, has been carrying out tests on its employees but no new cases have been detected as yet.
The third case in Marbella is of an 81-year-old woman who is related to one of the two aforementioned men, resident in the town. She, like the two men, is being closely monitored at home despite being advised to remain in hospital.
More than 500 cases in Spain
With 22 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Malaga province, the total number of diagnosed cases in Andalucía by Saturday evening was at 35, with more than 500 in Spain as a whole. Ten people have died nationally so far.