Junta backtracks and says there is no community transmission of Covid-19 in Malaga province

A woman undergoes a PCR test for coronavirus.
A woman undergoes a PCR test for coronavirus. / EFE
  • The regional deputy Health minister clarified comments made on Tuesday, saying that the need for new measures "is not yet a reality"

Despite an announcement to the contrary earlier this week, on Wednesday the deputy minister of Health at the Junta de Andalucía regional government, Catalina García, rejected the claim that there was community transmission of Covid-19 in Malaga province.

This was in direct contradition to the announcement made by Junta spokesman Elías Bendodo on Tuesday after the Cabinet meeting. Bendodo said that prevalence of Covid-19 was now considered so widespread that infections could no longer be tracked to a specific source.

García admitted that the incidence of coronavirus is higher in Malaga than in the rest of the Andalusian provinces, but insisted that “this does not mean community transmission”.

She explained that the Junta had access to an epidemiological report that looked into care home access that suggested that there was community transmission, but that the author of this report “did not have access to the data from all of Malaga province”.

Links to tourism

García and Bendodo, however, do share the view that tourism is most likely to blame for the sharp rise in cases and hospitalisations in the area.

Bendodo said that Malaga was “under observation” from the Junta this week because “we are very concerned” about the evolution of the pandemic in the province.

He added that the Junta would be observing whether the decrease in visitors now will be reflected in the case numbers.

Bendodo also went as far as announcing a series of recommendations to town halls in a bid to control the spread of the virus.

Bendodo asked town halls to limit events to those that are “strictly necessary” and didn’t rule out other measures next week if the number of infections is not contained.

García, however, said on Wednesday “at present this is not a reality”.

For his part, the regional Minister of Health, Jesús Aguirre, said that there are community infections, as there are everywhere, but he clarified that there is no community transmission yet anywhere in Andalucía.

Aguirre went even further than that, saying that Andalucía continues to be “a privileged land”.

“Despite being the most populated autonomous community, we have the second fewest infections per inhabitant and we are the region with the fewest people admitted to hospital per inhabitant,” he said.