Mass covid outbreaks due to end-of-year trips already affect 353 Catalans

Health Dpt finds 2,234 close contacts while the number of people infected in Menorca doubles in a single day

3 min
View of the beach of Palma de Mallorca in an archive image.

BarcelonaThe number of positive cases among Catalan students who have been infected as a result of an end-of-year trip has risen to 353: 166 in the Mallorca outbreak, 153 in Menorca and 34 in Tenerife. In addition, through the information provided by these young people, the number of close contacts has risen to 2,234 people. Since the mass outbreaks were detected, the epidemiological surveillance service and primary care centers (CAP) have made 5,292 calls to these contacts, 3,119 of which only on Monday. All of them have been instructed to isolate and are being scheduled diagnostic tests to detect if they are also positive. In fact, 1,528 tests have been done and 379 sick leaves have been given to comply with the isolations and quarantines.

The Secretary of Public Health, Carmen Cabezas, explained on Monday that all cases have been detected once the young people have arrived in Catalonia - quarantines will not need to be made in the places where they were infected, unlike some students from the rest of the state - and has asked all of them to respect the quarantines to prevent the virus from spreading. All identified positives have mild symptoms - which can be confused with other diseases - or do not have any at all - are asymptomatic - and no hospitalisation is recorded.

At the moment, the Public Health Agency of Catalonia and the Public Health Agency of Barcelona (which has its own competences in the city) are studying all outbreaks related to end-of-year trips to detect possible cases, including asymptomatic ones. In the case of the mass outbreak in Majorca that took place between 11 and 20 June, which affects young people from eight autonomous communities, the number of positive cases now stands at 166. 70 have been identified in the city of Barcelona, 68 in Central Catalonia and 15 in Girona. The remaining 13 have been detected in different parts of the country. In addition, 560 close contacts have been identified, to whom preventive isolation has been indicated and diagnostic tests are being carried out.

Regarding the cases registered in the outbreak in Menorca, the number of affected people has doubled in just 24 hours and has gone from 76 to 153: 78 in Barcelona city, 44 in the Vallès Oriental and Occidental, 14 in the Barcelonès Nord and Maresme, 11 in Girona, 4 in South Barcelona and 2 in Tarragona. In addition, 1,487 people have been identified as close contacts. This represents a ratio of 9.7 close contacts per confirmed case.

The positive cases detected among students from Deltebre who returned from a trip to Tenerife are stagnating for the moment at 34 cases, as well as the close contacts (287). "These are specific outbreaks, of specific people, in specific spaces", said Cabezas, who has asked for "young people to not be stigmatised" because most follow the recommendations.

According to the Health Dpt, the cases are little symptomatic or asymptomatic, which must be monitored with an epidemiological study "that needs some time", because these are complex outbreaks with a large number of contacts to investigate. At the same time, the department asks people who have gone on a trip similar to these to be "careful" and be attentive to possible symptoms, and those who have been in close contact with someone who has travelled to respect the quarantine and preventive measures. "A negative test does not mean that there is no risk of infection", said the Health Dpt in a statement.

37 Valencian students infected

The Ministry of Health of the Generalitat Valenciana notified this Saturday that 37 students have been infected in two outbreaks that have originated in end-of-year trips they made to Catalonia. Of those affected, 24 are students from the Escola Maristes Valencia, who had recently traveled to Lloret de Mar (Selva), and the other thirteen are from the Escola Mas Camarena de Paterna, who traveled to Salou (Tarragonés). These two outbreaks are in addition to the mass outbreak in Mallorca, which has left 67 positive in the Valencian Country, according to data published by the Ministry.

In the case of Mallorca, and according to the Balearic government, the outbreak would have originated between the Reggaeton Beach Festival and nine parties in hotels and boats, which are already being investigated. The executive has also opened a file to the organizers of the concert because it brought together more than 1,000 people without safety distance or face masks.

As a result of the macro outbreak in Mallorca, the Ministry of Health recommended the suspension of all end-of-year trips, and the alert committee advised the groups of students who have not yet started their trips to not do so, because "the risk of transmission is high". However, it is not clear if the recommendation is only for Mallorca - or for any destination.