5th February 2023
Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez
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Pedro Sánchez urges Christmas caution after Málaga hospital staff infected

Latest: Coronavirus in Spain figures (16 Dec)

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez urged people to ‘remain prudent’ about Covid-19 over the holidays, as early Christmas festivities in southern Spain are suspected of infecting dozens of hospital staff.

Sánchez was speaking to reporters outside the Spanish Congress on Spain’s Constitution Day – a national holiday. He said that citizens can’t ‘let their guard down’ because Coronavirus continues to spread, despite fewer cases and fewer difficulties for the health service than during December 2020.

The Regional Hospital of Málaga in Andalusia said 170 staff attended a Christmas dinner in a restaurant last weekend. Since then, 68 staff, including intensive care nurses and doctors, have tested positive for Covid-19. All were reportedly fully vaccinated, most of them asymptomatic, and they are now in quarantine at home, Spanish news agency Europa Press said, citing unidentified hospital sources.

The staff also took antigen tests before the event and were negative, which is making authorities question whether the dinner gathering was the cause of the outbreak, Spanish news agency Europa Press also reported.

Figures on Friday showed that the incidence rate for Covid in Andalusia was 117, with the overall incidence rate for Spain at 248..

Health authorities are also mindful of the new Omicron variant, with 10 cases now reported nationwide, although the scale of the threat from it still isn’t clear.

The regional government of the Balearic Islands announced Monday that it had detected four new Omicron cases. It found two other cases last week. ALSO READSpain detects first case of Omicron variant, without links to risk countries

Click here for all our reports on: Coronavirus in Spain

Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez
Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez talking to the press outside the Spanish Congress on 6 December 2021, Spain’s Constitution Day and a national holiday. (Pool Moncloa / Fernando Calvo)

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