#20 LATEST COVID-19 UPDATES AND EVENTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY as of 20h on Wednesday, 1st April, 2020

MINISTRY OF HEALTH

At 13h: Health Minister, Joan Martínez Benazet presented the latest information from his home where he is in isolation with the virus.

· We have achieved a flattening of the curve without reaching a peak that would have overwhelmed our healthcare system. In a few weeks, a progressive lightening of restrictions will be made, based on an epidemiological study by Oriol Mitjà. (Mitjà is an international, award winning epidemic expert from Barcelona. A documentary has been made of his work. C.A.)

· The Government has decided to carry out this project, which consists of conducting rapid tests for the whole population. We need to know who has the antibodies to the virus and so are already temporarily immunized. This massive test could not be performed before because the antibody tests had not yet been developed.

· The best formula for this test is now being studied, there may be points to go to, to take the test which will begin in about a couple of weeks.

· Approximately only 20% of positive cases are diagnosed, as many are mild or asymptomatic. This means more people with antibodies have been identified than positive cases.

· This virus is seasonal and will have disappeared in a few months, but the worry is it may reappear in October. For this reason we are participating in a clinical trial led by Oriol Mitjà that will be performed in 5 countries. This study will give us the necessary guidelines to follow to protect us from this virus in advance, in case it reproduces next autumn. By then we will know, for example, whether hydroxychloroquine can protect against the disease.

· One of the Cuban healthcare workers tested positive for Covid-19. The test was repeated to avoid a false positive. The rest of the temporary Cuban staff are being trained in the operation of the hospital, as no other has given positive results.

· Facilities: There are several areas in the hospital where beds can be set up with ventilators if necessary. These areas are in the day hospital, the conference room and the rehabilitation centre of the health centre.

LATEST UPDATE ON C19 PATIENTS IN ANDORRA.

365 positive cases (11 more than yesterday – yesterday’s number of only 2 new cases was due to the fact that there had been a delay in the complete results coming out.)

49 cases in hospital: 37 on the wards* and 12 in the ICU, all with mechanical ventilation.

18 in El Cedre (2 of them from La Salita.)

316 cases at home.

Special bodies: 19 positive. cases

Health workers: 90 positive cases.

25 hospital discharges.

14 deaths.

* For those unfamiliar with Andorra’s excellent, public hospital, Nostra Senyora de Meritxell has wards on four floors each divided into two different specialities. Every patient has their own private room and en-suite bathroom.

THE GOVERNMENT

· The Laws of the States of Alarm and Emergency and that of exceptional measures will come into force. Andorra Makers will be able to continue producing protective screens because they are very useful to the health workers.

· Yesterday there were queues of elderly people waiting to buy food. It is very important that the elderly do not leave the house but ask for help from the Comuns to perform services such as bringing food or pharmacy products to their homes. The Comuns will be contacting people over 65 to find out if they need any help. (This doesn’t square up with the fact that most supermarkets have special hours for the elderly so they don’t have to queue. C.A. )

· Paymeter, a mobile application, reports on which establishments are open, which have an on call guardian and which are closed during the health crisis. The app. was born from the wish to pay for blue parking zones electronically, but with the current situation it has been reinvented.

· SUMMARY MEASURES Government Grant Programme: more than 20 people are analysing the applications. Although not all applications have been received yet, 42 resolutions worth € 1.1 million have been started in the area of operating expenses representing 29% of the initial amount requested and 71 thousand euros related to the refinancing of loans of companies that represent 27% of the amount initially requested. 7 rulings have been denied for failure to meet the criteria of economic strain. As of today, a total of 1,099 applications have been received. This number represents one third of the activities that may be eligible for this programme:

Education:

· Pre-enrolment periods opened yesterday at the various schools. Given the current situation, pre-registration cannot be done by traditional means. So the web www.govern.ad has published the emails and contact numbers of the 3 educational systems in order to send in the applications. Registration will not be effective until the school in question starts accepting admissions, which should be before May 25.

· The school calendar is still in effect, maintaining the school holidays of Easter.

· The official tests have been postponed indefinitely and will adjust the contents to the situation.

· The process of enrolling in school transport has been postponed. The new enrolment process will be announced in plenty of time.

· Sale plants and seedlings: agriculture-related activities have so far remained open. Now this activity is restricted and will only be open to professionals in the sector who have to carry out their economic activity as best they can.

· A case has been raised against a pharmacy that put excessive prices on its products.

DONATIONS

· Solidarity Fund: It has accumulated more than 731,000 euros. It is worth noting that the Association of Women of Andorra has contributed 4,000 euros and the Official College of Architects has contributed 2,000. They have also announced that they, as a school, are giving up Government grants as a solidarity act towards companies that need it most. 17,941 SMS messages were sent to 828 Ajuda representing more than 35,000 euros

TWEETS FROM THE COMUNS

ENCAMP

· The school pre-enrolment period begins, and, for this year only, will be formalized by email.

ORDINO

· Maria Riba, a resident of Segudet, devotes a lot of time to reading books. Social Welfare mans the telephone 350 502 They average four calls a day to address the needs of the elderly.

ANDORRA LA VELLA

· We are providing, through the Traffic Police, the textile material needed to continue the production of homemade masks. Thanks to everyone who makes possible the production of masks.

SANT JULIÀ

· The day will come when we will be bored and only upload news. But for the duration of this crisis, we also try to give encouragement and support, interacting in a different way. Police say We are by your side. Telephone 110 or 872 000

ESCALDES-ENGORDANY

· Today we launch a new activity campaign at home. This time the initiative is being promoted by the Ministry of Culture @ comuee. With the title LA CULTURA ENTRA A CASA TEVA and daily videos on Instagram @eecultura, from 1st to 31st April, we will enjoy cultural activities. Telephone 110 or 872 000.

· Don’t forget the campaign that @comuee made public one week ago, so that isolated and vulnerable elderly people, who have no family and friends around, can join the support programme. After more than 2000 calls, 10 new cases arose, which are now cared for every day.

Culturally yours,

Clare.

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Look for about the author of the blog Clare Allcard

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Look here for the whole blog “Cultural events in Andorra with Clare Allcard”

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