#22 LATEST COVID-19 UPDATES AND EVENTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY as of 20h on Friday, 3rd April, 2020

MINISTRY OF HEALTH
• (Delivered by the Minister Joan Martínez Benazet from isolation.) Yesterday, there were one million Covid-19 cases reported worldwide. This does not mean that that is the actual total but it indicates the magnitude of the situation.

• It has been found that one of the symptoms of the disease may also be a skin condition.

• Hydroxychloroquine is being given to the infected, even in mild cases, because there is enough drug available.

• I know, we will have to learn to live with it, and sooner or later there will be drugs to protect us. That is why we will be participating in a clinical trial on whether hydroxychloroquine can be used as a preventive measure, as the vaccine can still take a year or a year and a half to be ready.

• Contingency plans for the Intensive Care Units:
12 beds located in ICU area ICU-enabled space in the hospital where complementary scans are performed,
already has 5 hospitalized patients. Space located in the resuscitation area of the surgical block, still fully available. The number of hospital mechanical ventilators has been increased to 27. There are 15 in use. So far there is no collapse.

• A new death brings the total victims at El Cedre residence to 10, nine were residents and the other from their day centre.

• The relatives of the deceased at El Cedre have sent their thanks to SAAS and the centre’s staff for their attention and warmth received during recent days.

• Residents will be returned home to family members where quarantine should be kept and the patient kept under observation.

• After about two weeks the project for antibody testing in the entire population will begin. This is a unique measure which has not been done in any other country and is possible here thanks to our small population and territorial dimensions. To carry out this study, those to be tested may move to specific testing points for the sample extraction.

• Masks: As it seems that particles suspended in the air can contain viruses, especially in closed places, it is better if everyone wears a mask, especially if we have to interact with other people. Although masks are now a priority for people facing the public, special teams or healthcare services, for a while we will all have to go with
masks. However, much of the transmission is through hands and what we touch with our hands.

• Soon pharmacies will be able to distribute masks to the population. (However I rang 188 yesterday and they said the elderly can ring their GP and get a prescription to take to the pharmacist now. C.A.)

• Andorra will not adopt a protocol that recommends not intubating patients over 80 years. What will be taken into account is the patient’s ability to cope with the ventilation, since it is a very hard and aggressive treatment and there are patients who cannot cope with this treatment.

• It is denied that the Ordino outbreak is related to Covid-19.

• SUMMARY OF MEASURES Traffic: There has been an increase in traffic. It is not yet time to relax and therefore, over the weekend, the police will increase controls. Depending on the public’s response, further measures may be taken next week, assessing the possibility of initiating the Status of Alert. (If you remember, that is when there is a possibility of being fined up to 15,000€ for being out in your car when you should be at home. Necessary shopping will still be allowed. C.A.)

LATEST UPDATE ON C19 PATIENTS IN ANDORRA.
407 positive cases, only 8 more than yesterday.
50 are in the hospital: 33 on the wards and 17 in ICU (15 on mechanical
ventilation: 3 have improved greatly and can soon be extubated. One of them is
a 24-year-old girl from SAAS)
357 cases are at home
19 positive cases amongst special workers such as police and firemen.
96 positive cases amongst healthcare staff.
32 have been discharged
16 have recovered .
16 have died

THE GOVERNMENT
Regulations associated with the CASS:
• (Delivered by the Government Spokesman Eric Jover) The Government has decided to create a regulation associated with the Omnibus Law in relation to CASS. This regulation establishes that self-employed workers can take advantage of a CASS payment corresponding to the minimum wage through a form posted on the CASS website. In this form, the applicant will make an affidavit of their situation so that they do not have to go to the offices in person. Despite the affidavit, inspection rights will be permitted.

• Another measure taken is that self-employed people who have had to completely cease their activities can suspend their CASS contributions. The Government will pay the contribution of these people, although they will not be able to accumulate points for retirement during this period.

• The business part of the activities that have had to close, will be funded by Government paying the corresponding part of the salaries at the employer social contribution of 15.5%.

• Soft Credits: The Government has partially resolved 64 applications and rejected 17 requests for aid from the 81 so far analysed.

• FEDA rates and other distributors: The discounts could not be applied for March due to an administrative problem, but the spokesman emphasized that these discounts will be applied after the closing period and thus will be able to be recovered.

• For disabled people: The Nostra Señora de Meritxell Private Foundation and the Official College of Psychologists of Andorra, have developed a free service to assist people with disabilities and their families, from Monday to Friday from 10h – 18h. Telephone 609 753 or [email protected]

• Andorran Banking: All banking entities in the country have pledged not to rescind any loan or mortgage to companies or individuals who have difficulty paying, at least until 30th June.

• Solidarity funds: € 1.3 million accumulated. The Group of Gols Solidaris i Junts per Andorra will , from yesterday, make a donation of 1,000 every Friday. The Association of Social Workers of Andorra has donated 800 euros in addition to their collaboration to solve the problems associated with the complications of the current crisis. SMS 828 received 19,759 messages, representing more than 39,000 euros.

• The FAF (Andorran Football Federation) and all its clubs contributed 15,000 euros of medical material. In addition, despite having closed for the crisis, they voluntarily declined the Government grant to cover employers’ social contributions.

• Labour record: 415 people have signed up for the register. 26% have a permanent contract (110 people). The rest had seasonal contracts or set time contracts. It was possible to contact 231 people, of whom 28 said they would have been fired without following the corresponding channels which they are following.

Culturally yours,

Clare.

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