CORONAVIRUS

Valencia region confines municipality after coronavirus outbreak

There have been 75 infections detected so far in Benigànim, which is home to 5,800 people. The transmission originated in both workplace and social environments, with two local councillors affected

Locals from Benigànim, Valencia wait outside a sports center for PCR coronavirus tests.
Locals from Benigànim, Valencia wait outside a sports center for PCR coronavirus tests.Raquel Segura / EFE

The regional health authority in Spain’s Valencia region on Monday confined the 5,800 inhabitants of the municipality of Benigànim for two weeks, given the increase in coronavirus infections after a new outbreak began in mid-August.

The health department detected the outbreak more than a week ago, establishing that its source was from both workplace and social environments. A total of 24 infections were confirmed, and 200 PCR tests were ordered to be carried out on local residents. The tests discovered a further 51 new positive cases, bringing the overall total in the area to 75.

According to regional health chief Ana Barceló, “the rise in cases in the last seven days shows significant propagation of the virus in Benigànim, and indicates sustained community transmission, which makes the adoption of the stated temporary measures necessary, with the aim of stopping and alleviating the risk of contagion in order to take back control of the epidemiological situation as soon as possible.”

The mayor of Benigànim, María Amparo Canals, called on Monday for ‘prudence’ and ‘calm’ among residents

The restrictions will go into place this afternoon and will mean that people can only leave or enter the area if they need to go to the doctor, get to work, return to their main residence, take care of seniors, children or dependents, or in the case of force majeure. Face-to-face classes will be suspended, including those in kindergartens and daycare centers.

The exceptional situation will also see the closure of social centers, casinos, clubs and similar establishments; day centers for seniors or other such social collectives’ bars, restaurants and other leisure establishments in the area apart from those who offer home delivery or take-away; gyms and sports centers of all kinds; and parks and gardens.

The mayor of Benigànim, María Amparo Canals, called on Monday for “prudence” and “calm” among residents, calling on them to stay at home and to observe the measures at all times. The outbreak, which may have originated at a dinner, has even affected the local council, where two councillors have tested positive. The majority of the cases are reported to be mild, according to the local council.

English version by Simon Hunter.

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