Suspend the MWC but not Madrid-Barça or ARCO: the erratic strategy against the virus

In his last intervention to report on the coronavirus epidemic (SARS-CoV-2) Fernando Simón has insisted that they discard the cancellation of events in Spain for fear of the disease.

The strategy is consistent with the scenario in which we are, gradually increasing cases, derived largely from our proximity to the Italian outbreak. In the transalpine country – almost 1,700 confirmed cases and 34 deaths– They have been trying to contain the disease for days. At the Carnival of Venice the curtain of the celebrations fell earlier than expected and in the affected regions, in addition to recommending that everyone keep a distance of one meter, the suspension of all sporting events has been decreed until the next 8 of March, a suspension that includes the Inter Milan-Juventus match in Turin, the Italian equivalent to Real Madrid-Barcelona that in Spain, as you know very well, has been celebrated.

For some epidemiology specialists, however, our country I should be following these same containment measures that Italy applies, without even waiting to reach that new stage. Throughout Monday, Madrid or the Basque Country, two of the autonomous communities most affected by Covid-19, have announced that they are studying the closure of schools and restrictions on the movement of people to reduce infections in Torrejón and Vitoria.

At the same time, since the suspension of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona was announced – it should have taken place between February 24 and 27 – in our country events of a similar magnitude have been held in terms of number of people.

In addition to the Classic this weekend, Santiago Bernabéu hosted last Tuesday the Champions League duel against Manchester City, in both cases the capacity of the Real Madrid Coliseum exceeded 78,300 spectators. To that we must add the rest of the matches of the day (the average occupancy per stadium is about 28,000 spectators) that went normally, other competitions such as the Iberdrola League, the ACB League or the Euroleague of basketball, etc.

Beyond football, the coronavirus has not been an impediment to the celebration of international fairs such as ARCO, which has brought together some 93,000 people at the Madrid Fair. And what about carnivals, especially crowds in cities like Cádiz, Santa Cruz de Tenerife or Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

At the other extreme, medical organizations such as the Murcian Society of Pathology of the Respiratory System have opted to cancel their meeting in the V Days of Respiratory Pathology, scheduled for March 5 and 6. They do, they say, following the recommendations made by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Health. The Basque Country has also opted for the suspension of three academic congresses that were to be held soon.

In fact, Health only mentions these types of measures when enumerating those that have been taken in Italy: "Suspension of manifestations, public events and public or private meetings in premises ".

OT prohibits its contestants from shaking hands during contests while holding mass meetings with fans

The inconsistency and improvisation of containment measures against the virus also has arrived at the 'talent show' Operation Triunfo. During the last gala on Sunday, the contestants of the TVE program changed one of the rituals they usually do: they did not clash the hands of the public at the end of the song or when they were saved. Program management confirmed that it was part of the security measures that had been taken.

The protocol was communicated to the participants just one day before, when they broke their television 'confinement' to go to four record firms held, simultaneously in Seville, Barcelona, ​​Madrid and Valencia. Some meetings with thousands of fans, more than 10,000 in total, where the only safety measures were advice such as not going "if they were sick", not touching "the mouth or nose with their hands" if they sneezed or carried disinfected hands.