The Catalan Ministry of Health sends a message of calm regarding the current outbreak of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in China and the upcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Catalan Health Minister, Mrs. Alba Vergés presented the health preparedness measures that have been established in coordination with the Mobile World Congress organization.
During the press conference, she explained that Catalonia is not a risk zone for public health. She reinforced that there has not been any coronavirus cases in Catalonia so far. Catalonia has only investigated 4 suspected cases and all of them were negative.The coronavirus response protocol is proven to be working perfectly as those experiences confirm. "The health system of Catalonia is prepared to diagnose and treat novel coronavirus, in perfect shape to give the most appropriate response. This must be taken into account by catalan citizens and by all visitors coming to the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in the upcoming days" said Mrs. Vergés.
The Catalan Secretary of Public Health, Dr. Joan Guix, has reminded that Catalonia is very used to receiving and hosting thousands of people "We have always successfully performed prevention and control measures, thanks to our preparedness and response capacities. We will provide the maximum amount of information and ensure transparency". Dr. Guix has listed the many actions that the Public Health Agency of Catalonia has been carrying out, starting with the preparedness protocol continuous updates. The Agency has delivered more than 200 train-the-trainers courses and distributed informative materials to strengthen the prevention and control capacities. Several coordination meetings took place and constant communications were ensured with the Spanish Ministry of Health, universities, the General Directorate of Tourism and the Hotels Federation, the public and private hospital network, the Chinese consulate and the Mobile World Congress organization.
With regard to the Mobile World Congress, several measures are going to be implemented. The visibility of medical facilities in the MWC will be enhanced. The organization will reinforce the availability of Personal hygiene supplies like alcohol-based hand sanitizer, that will also raise awareness on the importance of hand hygiene. In addition cleanliness and disinfection in congress facilities and restoration services will be a priority. The coordination between the public health system and the MWC healthcare services is currently in place. Thus, coordination meetings will continue next week in order to attune the efforts and to adapt to the needs.
Finally, Dr. Antoni Trilla, head of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology Department at Hospital Clínic Barcelona, emphasized that "Our health system is prepared but we are not in an exceptional situation".
More information regarding coronavirus: http://canalsalut.gencat.cat/ca/salut-a-z/c/coronavirus-2019-ncov/