Spanish healthcare workers on frontline against Covid-19 win Princess of Asturias Award

The prestigious prize has been collectively bestowed on doctors, nurses and other personnel who fought the pandemic, sometimes “without suitable equipment or material means”

Healthcare personnel at Cruces Hospital in Barakaldo thanking local residents for their daily applause.
Healthcare personnel at Cruces Hospital in Barakaldo thanking local residents for their daily applause.Luis Tejido / EFE

The “unconditional dedication” and “outstanding spirit of personal sacrifice” shown by Spanish healthcare workers on the frontlines of the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic have been recognized with the Princess of Asturias Award for Concord.

The prize has been bestowed on physicians, nurses, assistants and other healthcare workers who directly treated infected patients during an epidemic that has claimed over 27,000 lives in Spain by the official count.

“Exposed to a high, aggressive viral load, in the face of long working hours, sometimes without suitable equipment or material means, according to complaints from professional and trade union organizations in this sector, their unconditional dedication represents an exercise in exemplary citizenship and in their vocation to serve,” said the jury in a statement.

“With an outstanding spirit of personal sacrifice in support of public health and the well-being of society as a whole, they have become a symbol of the fight against the greatest global pandemic that has afflicted humanity in the last century.”

This is the first of eight prizes to be bestowed this year by the Oviedo-based foundation, whose honorary president is Princess Leonor, daughter of Felipe VI of Spain. Now into their 40th edition, the prizes reward “the scientific, technical, cultural, social and humanitarian work” carried out at an international level by individuals, institutions or groups. Past winners include well-known writers, artists, athletes and filmmakers from around the world.

The award ceremony traditionally takes place in October at Campoamor Theater in Oviedo, in the northern region of Asturias, and is presided by King Felipe and Queen Letizia.

English version by Susana Urra.

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