LATEST Covid-19 UPDATES AND EVENTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY as of Tuesday, 17th March, 2020 20h

MINISTRY OF HEALTH

LATEST UPDATE ON C19 PATIENTS IN ANDORRA.

At the evening press conference, Minister of Health, Martínez Benazet, said that positive cases had increased since morning but, with most being treated at home, the hospital still wasn’t overcrowded.

THE NUMBERS

· 23 new positives, with 39 cases in all, 12 of whom are health care workers. (4 in hospital and the rest quarantined at home)

· 12 negative test results

· 31 awaiting results, 14 of them health care workers (1 in hospital, the rest at home).

MORE HEALTH NEWS

· It is expected that numbers will increase over the next few days, before they go down again.

· Joan Martínez Benazet emphasized that the Ministry currently has plenty of protective material, with 50,000 more facemasks for medical staff arriving shortly.

· Martínez reminded citizens that, if someone has mild breathing symptoms or fever, they should call their GP, and, under no circumstances, go to a health centre. If the symptoms include breathing difficulties, with or without fever, they should call 116. When necessary, health professionals will go to the home to make an assessment.

· Positive, but mild cases will be isolated and treated at home until they are discharged. Citizens who meet admission criteria will be hospitalized until they test negative twice.

· The Health Minister reminded us that the effects of C19 on children and young people are generally very mild, but that they are important transmission vectors.

· The WHO says that, when a patient becomes symptom-free, they are not necessarily fully cured. They need two negative tests, made 24h apart, for it to be sure.

· The College of Psychologists has made the following email address available for anyone suffering from depression, anxiety attacks etc. [email protected] or ring 809031 and you will be put in touch with a psychologist.

· Benazet recalled that material that had been in contact with a positive case, can be disinfected with a simple wash in soap and water.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Social distancing is the buzz word: a minimum of two metres apart, to avoid spreading the virus.

HOME NURSING

People confined without a family or close assistant will be referred, via telephone188, to the Red Cross who will attend to their basic needs, such as shopping for food or medicine.

THE ELDERLY

· Eric Jover said that the Home Care Service (SAD) would remain operational, as it was an essential service for vulnerable people. In addition, the Minister noted that day centres have closed to prevent C19 infection, forcing regular senior users to stay home. In this way, SAD can extend its care and cover these people’s needs at home and as escorts to the doctor.

· In parallel, the monitoring of the elderly also includes daily calls, in coordination with the Red Cross, to all users of the SAD and Home Telecare. Social Affairs has a list of the country’s over 80s that identifies who might need help as, for example, they are living alone or in isolated villages. From tomorrow they will receive daily calls to keep track of their situation.

THE GOVERNMENT

· As noted before, four sectors of the economy will remain open: supermarkets, pharmacies, petrol stations and banks. Meanwhile, health professionals, veterinarians, industrialists (electricians, etc …) and mechanics must maintain emergency services.

· The Govern’s tramits services for administrative paperwork, will operate as usual at the Govern, in Prat de la Creu, between 8h and 14h but only with an appointment. Call 150 or send an email to [email protected]

· The Government will only attend meetings by appointment (call 📞150).

· 90 young volunteers will be assessed before being referred to the Red Cross, which is responsible for providing them with training, so they can be activated quickly if needed. To join the volunteer registry, please email [email protected]

GOVERNMENT TWITTER FEED

· The Government spokesman. Eric Jover, explained that work is continuing on a battery of initiatives for businesses, such as deferring taxes and changing the tax calendar. Soft credits have already been announced.

· Jover also announced that public transport has been reduced. Now Express Buses: LC, L2 and L6 will pass every 30 minutes. And lines L1, L4 and L5 will run every 60 minutes.

OTHER

· Postal services are being maintained.

· Ski Andorra is helping their seasonal staff to return home, mainly to South America.

· Mechanics’ workshops continue to operate for emergency car repairs.

· ITV vehicle inspection is still operating.

TWEETS AROUND THE COMUNS

ENCAMP

· Due to the closure, part of the fees for the nurseries and youth area will be repaid.

· Invoicing taxes and the taxes themselves (property, health, rent returns, …) will be suspended for the duration of this exceptional period.

ANDORRA LA VELLA

The Comú is providing services from 8h to 15h, but they ask people not to come unless it is urgent or essential.

ESCALDES-ENGORDANY

· The Comú building will remain closed until further notice. For any doubts or questions call 890890.

· The Revitalization Team of the llar, Seniors Day Centre, the Comú is recording Fitness and Exercise videos for seniors from all over the country. The Comú will announce when the television programme is ready.

INTERNATIONAL

ATTENTION. If you’re abroad, the Government recommends returning to Andorra as soon as possible due to the travel restrictions now imposed by our neighbouring countries. Please contact your travel agency to find out how to proceed. More information: 📞 376 301 188.

UNOFFICIAL FEEDBACK

· There is often some time between the virus taking up residence and you feeling the symptoms that it has moved in. Here is a simple self-check that can be done every morning: Take a deep breath and hold it for more than 10 seconds. If you complete this successfully without coughing, discomfort or tightness it is a hopeful sign that you probably have no infection.

· Some supermarkets are now taking the temperatures of their customers and offering them plastic gloves to shop in. Purchases can be washed in soap and water when you get home.

HOW LONG CAN THE C19 LAST ON DIFFERENT SURFACES?

(From BBC science programme Future)

This is still being researched but Covid19 can be spread in tiny droplets released from the nose and mouth of an infected person as they cough. A single cough can produce up to 3,000 droplets. These particles can land on other people, on clothing and on surfaces around them, but some of the smaller particles can remain in the air for up to three hours. There is also some evidence that the virus also survives longer in faecal matter, so anyone not washing their hands properly is likely to become a carrier.

A National Institutes of Health study found that Covid-19 survives for up to 24 hours on cardboard – and up to 2-3 days on plastic and stainless-steel surfaces.

Findings suggest the virus might also last this long on door handles, plastic-coated or laminated worktops and other hard surfaces. The researchers did find, however, that copper surfaces tended to kill the virus in about four hours. It all adds up to: Wash your hands.

HOW TO INACTIVATE C19. Research has shown that coronaviruses can be inactivated within a minute by disinfecting surfaces with 62-71% alcohol, or 0.5% hydrogen peroxide bleach or household bleach containing 0.1% sodium hypochlorite.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

· Stay at home, wash your hands and keep yourself fit by disinfecting all the surfaces in your house with 60–70% alcohol.

· Andorra’s going to need all the economical help it can get once all this is over. Why not share this with your friends: https://t.co/eWBHRXVEpk Hopefully it will raise your spirits too.

AND NOW FOR SOME GOOD NEWS! Sent in by Gaye Keep. Origins unknown.

· China has closed down its last coronavirus hospital. Not enough new cases to support it.

· Doctors in India have been successful in treating Coronavirus. Combination of drugs used: Lopinavir, Ritonavir, Oseltamivir along with Chlorphenamine. They are going to suggest the same medicine, globally.

· Apple has reopened all 42 stores in China.

There will be more good news like this tomorrow.

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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