Wed | Sep 30, 2020

New wave of infections hits the young, middle-aged

Published:Tuesday | August 4, 2020 | 12:21 AM
In this July 31, 2020 file photo, Emma Gaya is tested for COVID-19 at a primary healthcare centre in Sant Sadurní d’Anoia, Catalonia region, Spain.
In this July 31, 2020 file photo, Emma Gaya is tested for COVID-19 at a primary healthcare centre in Sant Sadurní d’Anoia, Catalonia region, Spain.

SANT SADURNÍ D’ANOIA (AP):

Like Most Spaniards, Emma Gaya thought the worst of the pandemic was behind her.

Spain’s government had ended a three-month lockdown after a COVID-19 onslaught that claimed at least 28,400 lives in the European Union nation. To kick-start its stalled economy, Spaniards were encouraged to cautiously resume their lives under a “new normality” based on wearing face masks, washing hands and social distancing.

The respite did not last long.

Outbreaks among farm workers and young people desperate to resume socialising after being cooped up have spread across northern Spain, spawning what some health officials fear could be the start of a dreaded “second wave” of infections.

“It pains me to think that we could be right back where we were,” Gaya said after getting tested for coronavirus at her local health clinic in Sant Sadurni D’Anoia, a village near Barcelona. She came in because she had a fever, one of the typical symptoms of COVID-19, along with a dry cough and the loss of a sense of smell.

“I think we had done things well. Now I don’t know if we are doing it well at all. I’m not sure at what point we are safe,” Gaya said.

On June 22, the day after Spain ended a national state of emergency and restored free movement around the country, the health ministry registered 125 new cases in 24 hours. Six weeks later, the daily count has jumped, hitting 1,525 on Friday.