The president of the government of Spain on Monday urged the population to be cautious about COVID-19 during the Christmas season, while authorities suspect that the festivities at a hospital in the country caused the contagion of dozens of members of its staff.
The president of the government, Pedro Sánchez, told reporters that Spaniards should not lower their guard since the coronavirus continues to spread, despite the fact that fewer cases are registered and health services face fewer difficulties compared to last year.
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The regional hospital in Malaga, a coastal city in southern Spain, reported that 170 members of its staff attended a Christmas dinner at a restaurant last weekend. Since then, 68 of its workers, including intensive care unit nurses and doctors, have tested positive for COVID-19.
Staff underwent antigen testing prior to the event and tested negative, leading authorities to suspect that the meeting was the cause of the outbreak, the private Spanish news agency Europa Press reported.
The infected staff were fully vaccinated and do not show symptoms of the virus, Europa Press published, citing unidentified hospital sources.
The province of Andalusia, where Malaga is located, has recently been the scene of an increase in infections. Its 14-day rate is 136 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
In all of Spain, that index was 248 last Friday.
Authorities are also aware of the omicron variant of coronavirus, with 10 cases reported nationwide, although the threat level of the variant remains unclear.
The regional government of the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean, which includes Mallorca, announced on Monday that it had detected four new infections of omicron. Last week he had found two other cases.
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