#23 ANDORRA’S COVID-19 UPDATES AND EVENTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY as of 20h on Saturday, 4th April, 2020

MINISTRY OF HEALTH

• (Delivered by the Minister, Joan Martínez Benazet from isolation.) The head of Health noted that there has been some panic amongst families who have elderly relatives resident in El Cedre. They are afraid their relatives will be infected by those sent there because they are sick. The Minster reassured them that the sick people are completely isolated from the normal residents and cannot move freely. They also have a totally different care staff. In addition, we are seeing that the number of patients in El Cedre has stabilized, there are no new infections due to the measures already taken.

• The Minster also referred to information published by Oriol Mitjà. He emphasized that the published epidemiological strategy included some points based in part on the plan that is operating in Andorra, but this does not mean that the strategy is Andorra’s. Andorra’s Covid-19 strategy is divided into two phases:
1. Analysis, in two batches, of antibodies for C19 in the entire population in order to draw conclusions from the level of infection. This could begin in two weeks time.
2. With these results, in a second phase, it will be possible to make the decision as to which social and economic activities can be reactivated.

• This strategy will be under continuous review depending on the evolution of the virus itself.

• In terms of drugs, there are four strategic lines to fight Covid-19: One is vaccine preparation. Many centres around the world are currently researching this but it will be many months before any receive approval. Martínez doesn’t think one will be ready by the autumn.

• The other strategy could be drugs that may have a preventative effect (in analysis: hydroxychloroquine). The third strategy is the design of antiviral drugs that may be effective against the virus. And finally, all those drugs that reduce inflammation in the lungs. Surely we will have some of these tools to protect us from the disease.

• Masks: It is recommended that all those who go out to shop wear one. Right now there are enough to gradually supply everyone with masks. People who, for essential activities, are exposed daily to Covid-19, should ring 180 with their request for masks or email [email protected] of Punt Empresa. Also, it is expected that in a few days, pharmacies will have masks on sale to the general public. Until distribution to pharmacies is guaranteed, citizens can order a mask made of cloth from [email protected] ( See more at Unofficial Feedback below C.A.)

• SUMMARY MEASURES Remember, it is most important to reduce all movement outside your home. There is a fear that an increase is being observed. For this reason the police service has been doubled. There are now 10 patrols out there to make people aware that they must stay at home. It is difficult and uncomfortable for families with small children. But it is the way to solve everything.

LATEST UPDATE ON C19 PATIENTS IN ANDORRA.
428 positive cases (21 more than yesterday which was 8 more than the day before.)
47 in hospital: 28 on the wards and 19 in ICU (16 on mechanical ventilation: 3
in the final days of recovery. 1 person as been taken off a ventilator.
381 patients are at home.
19 Special workers are still positive,
93 Health workers are positive (3 have recovered)
21 others have recovered (indicated by two negative PCR tests.)
6 people have been discharged.
17 deaths plus another one from El Cedre.

THE GOVERNMENT

• (Delivered by the Government Spokesman Eric Jover) A recent Decree is also associated with, and affects, the administrative corps. To reduce contagion in the work place and to continue to provide the necessary services, administrators need to operate differently. This service brings together different groups that are being adapted to the present circumstances. Flexible working days with telecommuting, so that workers can perform tasks outside their normal jobs, such as those who answer 188 calls. The administration has to reinvent itself. For this reason, some public workers’ jobs must be modified.

• Private workers in the field of teleworking have advanced in parallel. With regard to compensation for working hours, a calculation on how the days will be recovered is being established: if necessary in overtime or from holidays. It is also necessary to evaluate whether fathers and mothers can suspend their work activities due to family considerations. Also, what happens to people with disabilities or those who could be affected by the disease, for example those with asthma or lung disorders, and those who cannot do teleworking.

• All of this will have an impact on social services, which is why overtime will not be paid without an associated increase in work, because we believe that these hours in this situation must be treated as normal hours.

• However, it should be noted that some members of the administration, such as healthcare workers and other front line care providers, are taking extra risks, so overtime for them will be maintained.

• For the moment, there is no timetable for deciding when the confinement will be lifted. The entire population will first need to be screened for antibodies. With everyone’s help, we will keep pace with the rhythm of this illness and make our decisions with that in mind.

• There is a first, short term phase to follow, while we prepare for a second phase of economic measures that are now being worked on.

• Travel. A relaxation of travel has been observed. There has been 82% less than normal at the Spanish-Andorran border and 99% less at the Franco-Andorran border.

DONATIONS

• Solidarity fund: has reached an accumulation of 1,330 million euros. (I can’t believe this is true, Probably a fat finger! i.e. remove the zero. C. A.) At SMS 828, with the text “Ajuda”, 20,390 messages were received, representing more than 48,000 euros. The Association of Importers and Fuels have donated, and the Castellers of Andorra have donated 1,000 euros.

TWEETS FROM THE COMUNS

SANT JULIÀ

• ALERT! There has been an increase in travel in recent days, which could aggravate the current health situation in the country. Stay in your house or garden (if you are lucky enough to have one! C.A.) WE INSIST! The best prevention measure against Covid_19 is to stay home. Let’s be responsible and not let down our guard.
• There are many initiatives that make #confinement more enjoyable. As people cheer each night for the healthcare workers, Eugenia, a 14-year-old Lauredian, applauds with her piano and songs. Want to see her live? Don’t miss it tonight at 20h

ESCALDES-ENGORDANY
• Today is the time to pay our pets a little tribute. They help us a lot !!

UNOFFICIAL FEEDBACK

• The International Club appeal has so far attracted more than €64,000 from 62 members, of whom 37 donated €1,000 or more. The appeal will close on Tuesday 7th April. More donations, of whatever size, will be much appreciated so we can show how many members have helped when we make our donation to Andorra’s Solidarity Covid-19 fund. (With 614 active members we so far have “only” 10% participating.) Please send donations to the Helpline bank account at Crèdit Andorrà, la Massana as soon as possible – the IBAN once more is AD30 0003 1101 1010 8651 0404

READERS QUESTIONS ANSWERED

• 188 says that if you think you have seasonal flu you should still ring your GP to discuss your symptoms. After which they may tell you to ring 116 which is the Covid-19 line and someone will come to your home to assess you. Otherwise the GP will tell you what to do.
• Several people have rung to ask about yesterday’s ‘reported outbreak in Ordino’. Neither Sònia nor I can find any backstory to this.

MORE HEALTH COMMENTS

• It is more effective against fever to take Paracetamol 3 x 1000 mg/day. from Dr Karin Raton, MD, specialist FMH ( Foederatio Medicorum Helveticorum)
• A few days ago a law was passed that all those people who are considered to be at risk do not need a prescription for masks, they just have to contact their pharmacy leave their name and CASS number and receive 4 masks free from the government.
• Alternatively, for masks, email [email protected] and say you would like some. (I m sure they use Google translate when necessary.) I think the Comú or the Urbanes (traffic police) then bring them to you.

Culturally yours,

Clare.

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Look for about the author of the blog Clare Allcard

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