18th March 2020 Covid-19 Coronavirus update.

Sanitat announced yesterday that there are 304 cases of Covid-19 Coronavirsus in Alicante province. 48 are in hospital with 18 being in ITU (intensive care unit). There are 12 public hospitals in Alicante. This would mean on average each hospital would have 4 cases of Covid-19 with on average 1.5 patients in the ITU. This means the service at present is far from being overrun.

Yesterday the British government also suggested social distancing, advising people to work from home if possible and not to go out to pubs ,restaurants and theatres etc, and for the over 70’s to stay at home. However there will be no legal requirement to do so.

Death rates from Covid-19 coronavirus by country

The crude overall death rate or case fatality rate in other countries will be exaggerated as they have only tested people with more severe illness and not all contacts. In Italy so far the case fatality rate is 5.8% Rough estimates are in Spain 2.8% , 2.1% and in the UK 1.7%.

These are not true mortality rates, which can only be worked out at a later stage.

While in Singapore, Scandinavia and Germany they are more in line with normal flu.

These figures are rough estimates, during an evolving epidemic, because of the time lag between diagnosis and outcome. Also milder cases are never tested.

The overall mortality rate for Hubei Province in China where the epidemic started, but has now tailed off to a handful of new cases a day, stands at about 4.5%. Is is thought that once control measures are lifted it could re surge again until about 80% of the population becomes infected. The other 20% being naturally immune. There is no evidence yet that warm weather will control this virus. It could go on all summer in the Northern Hemisphere.

It took Hubei province about 10 weeks of lock down to control the epidemic.

Sources for statistics WHO and European Centre of Disease Control

There are two reasons for low mortality in highly efficient countries . Testing more asymptomatic contacts reveals more people who have very mild illness and better contact tracing and isolation and care once diagnosed will result in less contagion and fewer deaths.

Countries with higher mortality do fewer tests and pick up less severe carrier of the virus, and need more radical population restrictions to control the epidemic.

Better prepared countries do not have to take lock down measure as they quickly identify contacts and isolate them before they can spread the virus into the community.

The UK has been criticised for its strategy which is that they think about 80% of the population will get the virus anyway so they should let it spread naturally and develop a population immunity.

The Spanish government will not reveal the mortality figures broken down by age in Spain.

They have told journalist to ask the individulal Autonomous Comunities.

But looking at Italian figures it is very much confined to the over 60’s

Age in years 0 to 19 zero deaths in sufferers of Covid-19 coronavirus.

20 to 39 0.1% one in a thousand chance of dying if you get the virus.

40 to 49 0.1% chance of dying if you get the virus. This is same risk as normal flu.

Then the rates start to creep up from age 50.

50 to 59 0.6%, 60 to 69 2.7%, 70 to 79 6.9%, 80 to 89 16.9%, 90 years + 19%

The overall death rate for all ages combined is 5.8% Source Italian Health Institute

They have laboratories capable of testing large numbers of people rapidly.

They have not had to implement widespread population control like the rest of China, Italy and now Spain.

They have told journalist to ask the individulal Autonomous Comunities.

But looking at Italian figures it is very much confined to the over 60’s

Age in years 0 to 19 zero deaths in sufferers of Covid-19 coronavirus.

20 to 39 one in a thousand chance of dying if you get the virus.

40 to 49 0.6% chance of dying if you get the virus.

50 to 59 2.7%, 60 to 69 2.7%, 70 to 79 6.9%, 80 to 89 16.9%, 90 years + 19%

The overall death rate for all ages combined is 5.8% Source Italian Health Institute

Spanish Government Lock-down Whole Country

Trips away from your usual resident are being severely limited from Monday 16th March.

You are only allowed to leave your normal place of residence to :

1 Go to work

2 Visit the shops that are open or pharmacy or bank.

3 Visit an elderly or disabled person or collect child.

4 Return to your normal place of residence.

Any unjustified movement can be sanctioned with a fine.

There is no mention of going to hospital or GP for non Coronavirus matters. I suppose you should ring up to confirm before going.

I read hairdressers, tobacconists, news kiosks and IT shops will remain open. Presumably to keep morale up “a packet of fags for hubby and a hairdo for the misses”. And so people can keep informed and work from home on their working computer etc.

Vulnerable people are advise to stay indoors as much as possible.

Avoid kisses and hugs etc.

Vulnerable people are:Over 60’s, People who suffer from : High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Heart or Lung Disease, Cancer or Immunodeficiency. Pregnant women

If you can, it would be better to get a fit person to go out and run the errands .

Advice for Vulnerable people

Stay at home. Avoid public transport. if you do go out avoid crowded places where it is not possible to keep a distance of 1 metre between you and other people.

If you are worried that you may be infected with coronavirus Covid-19 you can complete an autotest on the Sanitat website. It is only available in Spanish and Valenciano though.

http://www.san.gva.es/web_estatica/coronavirus/coronavirus_es.html

Medical facilities, to decide according to their situation, whether to cancel non urgent operations, out patient clinics, and diagnostic tests.

They can co-opt private hospitals into the public system . They can take over other building to use as medical facilities.

The government can commandeer public and private businesses to control production .

They will ensure food supply is mainlined.

The right to use the armed forces if needed is an available option.

State of emergency “alarma” to be declared from 14th March 2020 through out Spain

There are three grades of State of Emergency in Spain 1 state of alarm, 2 extraordinary state and 3 state of siege.
The first and less severe state of emergency is being declared from tomorrow.
To find out information about the situation in Spain we suggest you read EL Pais in English.
https://english.elpais.com/politics/2020-03-13/spanish-government-declares-state-of-alarm-in-bid-to-combat-coronavirus-spread.html

“The Spanish government announced on Friday that it was implementing a state of alarm for 15 days in a bid to control the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the country. Speaking during a press conference at around 3.30pm, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez informed the Spanish public that the Cabinet would meet tomorrow to put the measure into effect, allowing the government to temporarily restrict the movement of citizens. Fundamental rights, however, will not 

be affected.“We are only in the first phase of combatting the virus,” Sánchez said on Friday. “We have some very tough weeks ahead of us. We cannot rule out reaching 10,000 [infections] by next week.”

The Socialist Party leader went on to explain that the state of alarm “would allow for the maximum mobilization of resources against the virus, but victory will depend on each one of us. Heroism also consists of washing your hands and staying at home. We are going to stop the virus with responsibility, and with unity.

“We will overcome this emergency by relying on advice from science and with support from all or the resources of the state,” he continued. “But it is also undeniable that we will manage it sooner, and with the least human, economic and social damage possible if we do it together.”Heroism also consists of washing your hands and staying at home”   from El Pais in EnglishToday the Sanitat stated that there were 119 cases of Covid 1- coronavirus in Valencia Region, 30 of those in Alicante province.
They state routine surgery, non urgent outpatient appointments and diagnostic tests may be cancelled. They may have to commandeer  public and private building to use as medical facilities. ( there has been talk about using the Benidorm hotels but the numbers at present don’t make that seem likely.)
 Most councils have shut public buildings ,schools ,sport centres etc and banned mass event Benidorm is suspending the outdoor markets.

It would seem that the government could use drastic powers to restrict movement of people and shut businesses.

An area of 7,000 residents in Catalonia west of Sitges has been put in lockdown because of a growing spike of cases jumping from 20 to 52 in one day.


All bars and restaurants will be closed throughout Valencia region but home delivery is not affected.

REMEMBER:  FEVER COUGH SHORTNESS OF BREATH .    FIRST CALL SANITAT STAY AT HOME CALL 900 500333 English speaking advisers available.
Wash your hand well when you come back home. Covid-19 Coronavirus doesn’t usually cause runny nose and sore throat so if you have these symptoms you probably have a cold.

CORONAVIRUS COVID-19. ADVICE OF HELP BENIDORM

FEVER    COUGH       SHORTNESS OF BREATH

FIRST  CALL  SANITIAT. STAY AT HOME. CALL 900 300 555

DO NOT GO TO DOCTORS OR HOSPITAL BUT STAY AT HOME AND CALL THE NUMBER

Sore throat and runny nose only occur in about 5% of Covid-19 cases.

If you have returned from a high-risk zone (eg Italy) or been in contact with someone who has been confirmed to have the virus also call the number. 

Cover your nose and mouth if you cough. Wash your hands frequently.

Keep your distance from people and avoid unnecessary gatherings,

This is based on advice from Sanitat Valencia Health Service and W.H.O by Dr  Kevin Jackson of Help International Benidorm.

Our numbers are    President 607 387 040     Welfare 607 386 964

UK Passport renew must now be done online or with smartphone.

It is quite easy for people handy with a smartphone. First take a good selfie with plain white background and then type into your browser Renew UK Passport bring up a link to the https://www.gov.uk. site.Make sure it is the genuine www. gov.uk site. It costs 105 euros or free if you are over 90.

UK Passport Renewal at Round Town Travel Avda Dr Severo Ochoa 2, Benidorm
You can get your passport renewed here for 160 euros or 30 euros if you are over 90. They send off your old passport and you will get a new one in the post together with your old passport in separate envelopes delivered by courier. Passport renewal con now only be done online or with smartphone so those not tech savy this is a good option.
Telephone 966 811123. If you do not live in Benidorm ask in a British owned business such as Estate agent etc to see if they will do it for you.