Doctors fear wave of contamination in Ceuta and ask army for help

by Lorraine Williamson
doctors fear new outbreak

MADRID – The invasion of migrants in Ceuta since Monday could have serious consequences for the health system. This is what healthworkers and doctors fear in the autonomous Spanish city.

Healthcare professionals have asked the Spanish government for assistance from the UME military emergencies unit. Also that the city be declared a ‘humanitarian disaster area’. Ceuta has just overcome a wave of contamination that has already brought the healthcare system to the brink of collapse. Only recently, with the increased number of vaccinated residents the virus incidence is under control. However with the arrival of more than 8,000 migrants without sanitary controls, doctors fear this could lead to another outbreak

Many did not wear masks

According to the president of the local doctors’ college of doctors, José Enrique Roviralta, barely 500 rapid tests or PCR tests have been carried out among the immigrants who have managed to reach the city since Monday. Of those tests, 100 were already positive. Video footage of the invasion shows many migrants did not wear masks or keep any distance from each other. 

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People of the Red Cross attempted to shelter all the people at the border in tents to test them there. However, there were so many that any control was impossible. Those tested were quarantined if deemed necessary by a doctor, and those who could continue received a mouth cap. 

Doctors fear ‘Risk is evident and realistic’ 

Talking about coronavirus protocols is pointless with more than 10,000 people walking on the street without a mask. The risk is obvious and realistic, ”said Roviralta to the newspaper El Español. 

Additionally, the influx of migrants from Morocco means the population of Ceuta has increased by 10% within 24 hours. All these people are together on an area of ​​21 square kilometres. “Controlling infections with the coronavirus or any other virus is impossible,” said CESM, the Spanish medical union. Therefore, the president of the medical college has urged UME for help with emergency hospitals. ‘There is an urgent need for additional resources. We are overwhelmed! ‘ 

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