Spain’s Minister of Equality Irene Montero has tested positive for COVID-19 and her partner Pablo Iglesias, second vice president, has been kept under quarantine. The Moncloa Palace reportedly said that the couple is not facing any difficulty and is in “good condition”.
The Spanish government had issued a statement saying all the members of the Executive will be tested on March 12 and results will be made available in the afternoon. Spain has already reported 55 deaths due to the deadly virus and nearly 2,300 people have been infected. Meanwhile, staff and players of Real Madrid, a Spanish professional football club, have been kept under 15-day quarantine after an NBA player tested positive.
Europe has been witnessing a sharp increase in the number of coronavirus cases with Italy being the worst-hit. Italy has reported more than 12,000 cases with the death toll rising to 827. While Europe and the United States grapple with the rising number of cases, the rate of infections in China, the worst-affected country, has slowed down.
On March 11, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the novel coronavirus as pandemic which has forced governments to take drastic measures to contain the disease. Speaking at a press briefing, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus expressed concern about alarming levels of spread and severity and alarming levels of inaction.
“We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic,” said Ghebreyesus.
The WHO chief cautioned against using the word carelessly to cause unreasonable fear or unjustified acceptance that the fight is over. Ghebreyesus added that the UN health agency has rung the alarm bell loud and clear and urged countries to take urgent and aggressive action.
“If countries detect, test, treat, isolate, trace, and mobilize their people in the response, those with a handful of cases can prevent those cases becoming clusters, and those clusters becoming community transmission,” he said.